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Statutes: Federal Statutes

In this section, you will find selected federal statutes, which relate to the information on our Other Federal Laws and Immigration pages. We strive to keep these statutes as up-to-date as possible. However, before relying upon them, please check to be sure that there have been no changes.

Code of Federal Regulations

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

Title 8 - Aliens and Nationality

8 CFR § 204.2- Petitions for relatives, widows and widowers, and abused spouses and children

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 204.2 Petitions for relatives, widows and widowers, and abused spouses and children.

(a) Petition for a spouse--

(1) Eligibility. A United States citizen or alien admitted for lawful permanent residence may file a petition on behalf of a spouse.

(i) Marriage within five years of petitioner's obtaining lawful permanent resident status.

(A) A visa petition filed on behalf of an alien by a lawful permanent resident spouse may not be approved if the marriage occurred within five years of the petitioner being accorded the status of lawful permanent resident based upon a prior marriage to a United States citizen or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, unless:

(1) The petitioner establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the marriage through which the petitioner gained permanent residence was not entered into for the purposes of evading the immigration laws; or

(2) The marriage through which the petitioner obtained permanent residence was terminated through death.

(B) Documentation. The petitioner should submit documents which cover the period of the prior marriage. The types of documents which may establish that the prior marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws include, but are not limited to:

(1) Documentation showing joint ownership of property;

(2) A lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence;

(3) Documentation showing commingling of financial resources;

(4) Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to the petitioner and prior spouse;

(5) Affidavits sworn to or affirmed by third parties having personal knowledge of the bona fides of the prior marital relationship. (Each affidavit must contain the full name and address, date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit; his or her relationship, if any, to the petitioner, beneficiary or prior spouse; and complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of the prior marriage. The affiant may be required to testify before an immigration officer about the information contained in the affidavit. Affidavits should be supported, if possible, by one or more types of documentary evidence listed in this paragraph.); or

(6) Any other documentation which is relevant to establish that the prior marriage was not entered into in order to evade the immigration laws of the United States.

(C) The petitioner must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the prior marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws. Failure to meet the “clear and convincing evidence” standard will result in the denial of the petition. Such a denial shall be without prejudice to the filing of a new petition once the petitioner has acquired five years of lawful permanent residence. The director may choose to initiate deportation proceedings based upon information gained through the adjudication of the petition; however, failure to initiate such proceedings shall not establish that the petitioner's prior marriage was not entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws. Unless the petition is approved, the beneficiary shall not be accorded a filing date within the meaning of section 203(c) of the Act based upon any spousal second preference petition.

(ii) Fraudulent marriage prohibition. Section 204(c) of the Act prohibits the approval of a visa petition filed on behalf of an alien who has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading the immigration laws. The director will deny a petition for immigrant visa classification filed on behalf of any alien for whom there is substantial and probative evidence of such an attempt or conspiracy, regardless of whether that alien received a benefit through the attempt or conspiracy. Although it is not necessary that the alien have been convicted of, or even prosecuted for, the attempt or conspiracy, the evidence of the attempt or conspiracy must be contained in the alien's file.

(iii) Marriage during proceedings--general prohibition against approval of visa petition. A visa petition filed on behalf of an alien by a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident spouse shall not be approved if the marriage creating the relationship occurred on or after November 10, 1986, and while the alien was in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, or judicial proceedings relating thereto. Determination of commencement and termination of proceedings and exemptions shall be in accordance with § 245.1(c)(9) of this chapter, except that the burden in visa petition proceedings to establish eligibility for the exemption in § 245.1(c)(9)(iii)(F) of this chapter shall rest with the petitioner.

(A) Request for exemption. No application or fee is required to request an exemption. The request must be made in writing and submitted with the Form I–130. The request must state the reason for seeking the exemption and must be supported by documentary evidence establishing eligibility for the exemption.

(B) Evidence to establish eligibility for the bona fide marriage exemption. The petitioner should submit documents which establish that the marriage was entered into in good faith and not entered into for the purpose of procuring the alien's entry as an immigrant. The types of documents the petitioner may submit include, but are not limited to:

(1) Documentation showing joint ownership of property;

(2) Lease showing joint tenancy of a common residence;

(3) Documentation showing commingling of financial resources;

(4) Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to the petitioner and beneficiary;

(5) Affidavits of third parties having knowledge of the bona fides of the marital relationship (Such persons may be required to testify before an immigration officer as to the information contained in the affidavit. Affidavits must be sworn to or affirmed by people who have personal knowledge of the marital relationship. Each affidavit must contain the full name and address, date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit and his or her relationship to the spouses, if any. The affidavit must contain complete information and details explaining how the person acquired his or her knowledge of the marriage. Affidavits should be supported, if possible, by one or more types of documentary evidence listed in this paragraph); or

(6) Any other documentation which is relevant to establish that the marriage was not entered into in order to evade the immigration laws of the United States.

(C) Decision. Any petition filed during the prohibited period shall be denied, unless the petitioner establishes eligibility for an exemption from the general prohibition. The petitioner shall be notified in writing of the decision of the director.

(D) Denials. The denial of a petition because the marriage took place during the prohibited period shall be without prejudice to the filing of a new petition after the beneficiary has resided outside the United States for the required period of two years following the marriage. The denial shall also be without prejudice to the consideration of a new petition or a motion to reopen the visa petition proceedings if deportation or exclusion proceedings are terminated after the denial other than by the beneficiary's departure from the United States. Furthermore, the denial shall be without prejudice to the consideration of a new petition or motion to reopen the visa petition proceedings, if the petitioner establishes eligibility for the bona fide marriage exemption contained in this part: Provided, That no motion to reopen visa petition proceedings may be accepted if the approval of the motion would result in the beneficiary being accorded a priority date within the meaning of section 203(c) of the Act earlier than November 29, 1990.

(E) Appeals. The decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals concerning the denial of a relative visa petition because the petitioner failed to establish eligibility for the bona fide marriage exemption contained in this part will constitute the single level of appellate review established by statute.

(F) Priority date. A preference beneficiary shall not be accorded a priority date within the meaning of section 203(c) of the Act based upon any relative petition filed during the prohibited period, unless an exemption contained in this part has been granted. Furthermore, a preference beneficiary shall not be accorded a priority date prior to November 29, 1990, based upon the approval of a request for consideration for the bona fide marriage exemption contained in this part.

(2) Evidence for petition for a spouse. In addition to evidence of United States citizenship or lawful permanent residence, the petitioner must also provide evidence of the claimed relationship. A petition submitted on behalf of a spouse must be accompanied by a recent ADIT-style photograph of the petitioner, a recent ADIT-style photograph of the beneficiary, a certificate of marriage issued by civil authorities, and proof of the legal termination of all previous marriages of both the petitioner and the beneficiary. However, non-ADIT-style photographs may be accepted by the district director when the petitioner or beneficiary reside(s) in a country where such photographs are unavailable or cost prohibitive.

(3) Decision on and disposition of petition. The approved petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's Processing Center. If the beneficiary is in the United States and is eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 3.3.

(4) Derivative beneficiaries. No alien may be classified as an immediate relative as defined in section 201(b) of the Act unless he or she is the direct beneficiary of an approved petition for that classification. Therefore, a child of an alien approved for classification as an immediate relative spouse is not eligible for derivative classification and must have a separate petition filed on his or her behalf. A child accompanying or following to join a principal alien under section 203(a)(2) of the Act may be included in the principal alien's second preference visa petition. The child will be accorded second preference classification and the same priority date as the principal alien. However, if the child reaches the age of twenty-one prior to the issuance of a visa to the principal alien parent, a separate petition will be required. In such a case, the original priority date will be retained if the subsequent petition is filed by the same petitioner. Such retention of priority date will be accorded only to a son or daughter previously eligible as a derivative beneficiary under a second preference spousal petition.

(b) Petition by widow or widower of a United States citizen--

(1) Eligibility. A widow or widower of a United States citizen may file a petition and be classified as an immediate relative under section 201(b) of the Act if:

(i) He or she had been married for at least two years to a United States citizen.

(Note: The United States citizen is not required to have had the status of United States citizen for the entire two year period, but must have been a United States citizen at the time of death.)

(ii) The petition is filed within two years of the death of the citizen spouse or before November 29, 1992, if the citizen spouse died before November 29, 1990;

(iii) The alien petitioner and the citizen spouse were not legally separated at the time of the citizen's death; and

(iv) The alien spouse has not remarried.

(2) Evidence for petition of widow or widower. If a petition is submitted by the widow or widower of a deceased United States citizen, it must be accompanied by evidence of citizenship of the United States citizen and primary evidence, if available, of the relationship in the form of a marriage certificate issued by civil authorities, proof of the termination of all prior marriages of both husband and wife, and the United States citizen's death certificate issued by civil authorities. To determine the availability of primary documents, the Service will refer to the Department of State's Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). When the FAM shows that primary documents are generally available in the country at issue but the petitioner claims that his or her document is unavailable, a letter from the appropriate registrar stating that the document is not available will be required before the Service will accept secondary evidence. Secondary evidence will be evaluated for its authenticity and credibility. Secondary evidence may include:

(i) Such evidence of the marriage and termination of prior marriages as religious documents, tribal records, census records, or affidavits; and

(ii) Such evidence of the United States citizen's death as religious documents, funeral service records, obituaries, or affidavits. Affidavits submitted as secondary evidence pursuant to paragraphs (b)(2)(i) and (b)(2)(ii) of this section must be sworn to or affirmed by people who have personal knowledge of the event to which they attest. Each affidavit should contain the full name and address, date and place of birth of the person making the affidavit and his or her relationship, if any, to the widow or widower. Any such affidavit must contain complete information and details explaining how knowledge of the event was acquired.

(3) Decision on and disposition of petition. The approved petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's Processing Center. If the widow or widower is in the United States and is eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the petition is denied, the widow or widower will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 3.3.

(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A child of an alien widow or widower classified as an immediate relative is eligible for derivative classification as an immediate relative. Such a child may be included in the principal alien's immediate relative visa petition, and may accompany or follow to join the principal alien to the United States. Derivative benefits do not extend to an unmarried or married son or daughter of an alien widow or widower.

(c) Self-petition by spouse of abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident--

(1) Eligibility--

(i) Basic eligibility requirements. A spouse may file a self-petition under section 204(a)(1)(A)(iii) or 204(a)(1)(B)(ii) of the Act for his or her classification as an immediate relative or as a preference immigrant if he or she:

(A) Is the spouse of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(B) Is eligible for immigrant classification under section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) or 203(a)(2)(A) of the Act based on that relationship;

(C) Is residing in the United States;

(D) Has resided in the United States with the citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse;

(E) Has been battered by, or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by, the citizen or lawful permanent resident during the marriage; or is that parent of a child who has been battered by, or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by, the citizen or lawful permanent resident during the marriage;

(F) Is a person of good moral character;

(G) Is a person whose deportation would result in extreme hardship to himself, herself, or his or her child; and

(H) Entered into the marriage to the citizen or lawful permanent resident in good faith.

(ii) Legal status of the marriage. The self-petitioning spouse must be legally married to the abuser when the petition is properly filed with the Service. A spousal self-petition must be denied if the marriage to the abuser legally ended through annulment, death, or divorce before that time. After the self-petition has been properly filed, the legal termination of the marriage will have no effect on the decision made on the self- petition. The self-petitioner's remarriage, however, will be a basis for the denial of a pending self-petition.

(iii) Citizenship or immigration status of the abuser. The abusive spouse must be a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident of the United States when the petition is filed and when it is approved. Changes in the abuser's citizenship or lawful permanent resident status after the approval will have no effect on the self-petition. A self-petition approved on the basis of a relationship to an abusive lawful permanent resident spouse will not be automatically upgraded to immediate relative status. The self-petitioner would not be precluded, however, from filing a new self-petition for immediate relative classification after the abuser's naturalization, provided the self-petitioner continues to meet the self-petitioning requirements.

(iv) Eligibility for immigrant classification. A self-petitioner is required to comply with the provisions of section 204(c) of the Act, section 204(g) of the Act, and section 204(a)(2) of the Act.

(v) Residence. A self-petition will not be approved if the self-petitioner is not residing in the United States when the self-petition is filed. The self-petitioner is not required to be living with the abuser when the petition is filed, but he or she must have resided with the abuser in the United States in the past.

(vi) Battery or extreme cruelty. For the purpose of this chapter, the phrase “was battered by or was the subject of extreme cruelty” includes, but is not limited to, being the victim of any act or threatened act of violence, including any forceful detention, which results or threatens to result in physical or mental injury. Psychological or sexual abuse or exploitation, including rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor), or forced prostitution shall be considered acts of violence. Other abusive actions may also be acts of violence under certain circumstances, including acts that, in and of themselves, may not initially appear violent but that are a part of an overall pattern of violence. The qualifying abuse must have been committed by the citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, must have been perpetrated against the self-petitioner or the self-petitioner's child, and must have taken place during the self-petitioner's marriage to the abuser.

(vii) Good moral character. A self-petitioner will be found to lack good moral character if he or she is a person described in section 101(f) of the Act. Extenuating circumstances may be taken into account if the person has not been convicted of an offense or offenses but admits to the commission of an act or acts that could show a lack of good moral character under section 101(f) of the Act. A person who was subjected to abuse in the form of forced prostitution or who can establish that he or she was forced to engage in other behavior that could render the person excludable under section 212(a) of the Act would not be precluded from being found to be a person of good moral character, provided the person has not been convicted for the commission of the offense or offenses in a court of law. A self-petitioner will also be found to lack good moral character, unless he or she establishes extenuating circumstances, if he or she willfully failed or refused to support dependents; or committed unlawful acts that adversely reflect upon his or her moral character, or was convicted or imprisoned for such acts, although the acts do not require an automatic finding of lack of good moral character. A self-petitioner's claim of good moral character will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the provisions of section 101(f) of the Act and the standards of the average citizen in the community. If the results of record checks conducted prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa or approval of an application for adjustment of status disclose that the self-petitioner is no longer a person of good moral character or that he or she has not been a person of good moral character in the past, a pending self-petition will be denied or the approval of a self-petition will be revoked.

(viii) Extreme hardship. The Service will consider all credible evidence of extreme hardship submitted with a self-petition, including evidence of hardship arising from circumstances surrounding the abuse. The extreme hardship claim will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis after a review of the evidence in the case. Self-petitioners are encouraged to cite and document all applicable factors, since there is no guarantee that a particular reason or reasons will result in a finding that deportation would cause extreme hardship. Hardship to persons other than the self-petitioner or the self-petitioner's child cannot be considered in determining whether a self-petitioning spouse's deportation would cause extreme hardship.

(ix) Good faith marriage. A spousal self-petition cannot be approved if the self-petitioner entered into the marriage to the abuser for the primary purpose of circumventing the immigration laws. A self-petition will not be denied, however, solely because the spouses are not living together and the marriage is no longer viable.

(2) Evidence for a spousal self-petition--

(i) General. Self-petitioners are encouraged to submit primary evidence whenever possible. The Service will consider, however, any credible evidence relevant to the petition. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Service.

(ii) Relationship. A self-petition filed by a spouse must be accompanied by evidence of citizenship of the United States citizen or proof of the immigration status of the lawful permanent resident abuser. It must also be accompanied by evidence of the relationship. Primary evidence of a marital relationship is a marriage certificate issued by civil authorities, and proof of the termination of all prior marriages, if any, of both the self-petitioner and the abuser. If the self-petition is based on a claim that the self-petitioner's child was battered or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by the citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse, the self-petition should also be accompanied by the child's birth certificate or other evidence showing the relationship between the self-petitioner and the abused child.

(iii) Residence. One or more documents may be submitted showing that the self-petitioner and the abuser have resided together in the United States. One or more documents may also be submitted showing that the self-petitioner is residing in the United States when the self-petition is filed. Employment records, utility receipts, school records, hospital or medical records, birth certificates of children born in the United States, deeds, mortgages, rental records, insurance policies, affidavits or any other type of relevant credible evidence of residency may be submitted.

(iv) Abuse. Evidence of abuse may include, but is not limited to, reports and affidavits from police, judges and other court officials, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, social workers, and other social service agency personnel. Persons who have obtained an order of protection against the abuser or have taken other legal steps to end the abuse are strongly encouraged to submit copies of the relating legal documents. Evidence that the abuse victim sought safe-haven in a battered women's shelter or similar refuge may be relevant, as may a combination of documents such as a photograph of the visibly injured self-petitioner supported by affidavits. Other forms of credible relevant evidence will also be considered. Documentary proof of non-qualifying abuses may only be used to establish a pattern of abuse and violence and to support a claim that qualifying abuse also occurred.

(v) Good moral character. Primary evidence of the self-petitioner's good moral character is the self-petitioner's affidavit. The affidavit should be accompanied by a local police clearance or a state-issued criminal background check from each locality or state in the United States in which the self-petitioner has resided for six or more months during the 3–year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition. Self-petitioners who lived outside the United States during this time should submit a police clearance, criminal background check, or similar report issued by the appropriate authority in each foreign country in which he or she resided for six or more months during the 3–year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition. If police clearances, criminal background checks, or similar reports are not available for some or all locations, the self-petitioner may include an explanation and submit other evidence with his or her affidavit. The Service will consider other credible evidence of good moral character, such as affidavits from responsible persons who can knowledgeably attest to the self-petitioner's good moral character.

(vi) Extreme hardship. Evidence of extreme hardship may include affidavits, birth certificates of children, medical reports, protection orders and other court documents, police reports, and other relevant credible evidence.

(vii) Good faith marriage. Evidence of good faith at the time of marriage may include, but is not limited to, proof that one spouse has been listed as the other's spouse on insurance policies, property leases, income tax forms, or bank accounts; and testimony or other evidence regarding courtship, wedding ceremony, shared residence and experiences. Other types of readily available evidence might include the birth certificates of children born to the abuser and the spouse; police, medical, or court documents providing information about the relationship; and affidavits of persons with personal knowledge of the relationship. All credible relevant evidence will be considered.

(3) Decision on and disposition of the petition--

(i) Petition approved. If the self-petitioning spouse will apply for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the self-petitioner will apply for an immigrant visa abroad, the approved self-petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's National Visa Center.

(ii) Petition denied. If the self-petition is denied, the self-petitioner will be notified in writing of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal the decision.

(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A child accompanying or following-to-join the self-petitioning spouse may be accorded the same preference and priority date as the self-petitioner without the necessity of a separate petition, if the child has not been classified as an immigrant based on his or her own self-petition. A derivative child who had been included in a parent's self-petition may later file a self-petition, provided the child meets the self-petitioning requirements. A child who has been classified as an immigrant based on a petition filed by the abuser or another relative may also be derivatively included in a parent's self-petition. The derivative child must be unmarried, less than 21 years old, and otherwise qualify as the self-petitioner's child under section 101(b)(1)(F) of the Act until he or she becomes a lawful permanent resident based on the derivative classification.

(5) Name change. If the self-petitioner's current name is different than the name shown on the documents, evidence of the name change (such as the petitioner's marriage certificate, legal document showing name change, or other similar evidence) must accompany the self-petition.

(6) Prima facie determination.

(i) Upon receipt of a self-petition under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the Service shall make a determination as to whether the petition and the supporting documentation establish a “prima facie case” for purposes of 8 U.S.C. 1641, as amended by section 501 of Public Law 104–208.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section, a prima facie case is established only if the petitioner submits a completed Form I–360 and other evidence supporting all of the elements required of a self-petitioner in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. A finding of prima facie eligibility does not relieve the petitioner of the burden of providing additional evidence in support of the petition and does not establish eligibility for the underlying petition.

(iii) If the Service determines that a petitioner has made a “prima facie case,” the Service shall issue a Notice of Prima Facie Case to the petitioner. Such Notice shall be valid until the Service either grants or denies the petition.

(iv) For purposes of adjudicating the petition submitted under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a prima facie determination--

(A) Shall not be considered evidence in support of the petition;

(B) Shall not be construed to make a determination of the credibility or probative value of any evidence submitted along with that petition; and,

(C) Shall not relieve the self-petitioner of his or her burden of complying with all of the evidentiary requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(d) Petition for a child or son or daughter--

(1) Eligibility. A United States citizen may file a petition on behalf of an unmarried child under twenty-one years of age for immediate relative classification under section 201(b) of the Act. A United States citizen may file a petition on behalf of an unmarried son or daughter over twenty-one years of age under section 203(a)(1) or for a married son or daughter for preference classification under section 203(a)(3) of the Act. An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence may file a petition on behalf of a child or an unmarried son or daughter for preference classification under section 203(a)(2) of the Act.

(2) Evidence to support petition for child or son or daughter. In addition to evidence of United States citizenship or lawful permanent resident, the petitioner must also provide evidence of the claimed relationship.

(i) Primary evidence for a legitimate child or son or daughter. If a petition is submitted by the mother, the birth certificate of the child showing the mother's name must accompany the petition. If the mother's name on the birth certificate is different from her name on the petition, evidence of the name change must also be submitted. If a petition is submitted by the father, the birth certificate of the child, a marriage certificate of the parents, and proof of legal termination of the parents' prior marriages, if any, issued by civil authorities must accompany the petition. If the father's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must also accompany the petition.

(ii) Primary evidence for a legitimated child or son or daughter. A child can be legitimated through the marriage of his or her natural parents, by the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, or by the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile. If the legitimation is based on the natural parents' marriage, such marriage must have taken place while the child was under the age of eighteen. If the legitimation is based on the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, the law must have taken effect before the child's eighteenth birthday. If the legitimation is based on the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile, the father must have resided--while the child was under eighteen years of age--in the country or state under whose laws the child has been legitimated. Primary evidence of the relationship should consist of the beneficiary's birth certificate and the parents' marriage certificate or other evidence of legitimation issued by civil authorities.

(iii) Primary evidence for an illegitimate child or son or daughter. If a petition is submitted by the mother, the child's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the mother's name, must accompany the petition. If the mother's name on the birth certificate is different from her name as reflected in the petition, evidence of the name change must also be submitted. If the petition is submitted by the purported father of a child or son or daughter born out of wedlock, the father must show that he is the natural father and that a bona fide parent-child relationship was established when the child or son or daughter was unmarried and under twenty-one years of age. Such a relationship will be deemed to exist or to have existed where the father demonstrates or has demonstrated an active concern for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare. Primary evidence to establish that the petitioner is the child's natural father is the beneficiary's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the father's name. If the father's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must accompany the petition. Evidence of a parent/child relationship should establish more than merely a biological relationship. Emotional and/or financial ties or a genuine concern and interest by the father for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare must be shown. There should be evidence that the father and child actually lived together or that the father held the child out as being his own, that he provided for some or all of the child's needs, or that in general the father's behavior evidenced a genuine concern for the child. The most persuasive evidence for establishing a bona fide parent/child relationship and financial responsibility by the father is documentary evidence which was contemporaneous with the events in question. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to: money order receipts or cancelled checks showing the father's financial support of the beneficiary; the father's income tax returns; the father's medical or insurance records which include the beneficiary as a dependent; school records for the beneficiary; correspondence between the parties; or notarized affidavits of friends, neighbors, school officials, or other associates knowledgeable about the relationship.

(iv) Primary evidence for a stepchild. If a petition is submitted by a stepparent on behalf of a stepchild or stepson or stepdaughter, the petition must be supported by the stepchild's or stepson's or stepdaughter's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the name of the beneficiary's parent to whom the petitioner is married, a marriage certificate issued by civil authorities which shows that the petitioner and the child's natural parent were married before the stepchild or stepson or stepdaughter reached the age of eighteen; and evidence of the termination of any prior marriages of the petitioner and the natural parent of the stepchild or stepson or stepdaughter.

(v) Secondary evidence. When it is established that primary evidence is not available, secondary evidence may be accepted. To determine the availability of primary documents, the Service will refer to the Department of State's Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). When the FAM shows that primary documents are generally available in the country at issue but the petitioner claims that his or her document is unavailable, a letter from the appropriate registrar stating that the document is not available will be required before the Service will accept secondary evidence. Secondary evidence will be evaluated for its authenticity and credibility. Secondary evidence may take the form of historical evidence; such evidence must have been issued contemporaneously with the event which it documents any may include, but is not limited to, medical records, school records, and religious documents. Affidavits may also by accepted. When affidavits are submitted, they must be sworn to by persons who were born at the time of and who have personal knowledge of the event to which they attest. Any affidavit must contain the affiant's full name and address, date and place of birth, relationship to the party, if any, and complete details concerning how the affiant acquired knowledge of the event.

(vi) Blood tests. The director may require that a specific Blood Group Antigen Test be conducted of the beneficiary and the beneficiary's father and mother. In general, blood tests will be required only after other forms of evidence have proven inconclusive. If the specific Blood Group Antigen Test is also found not to be conclusive and the director determines that additional evidence is needed, a Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) test may be requested. Tests will be conducted, at the expense of the petitioner or beneficiary, by the United States Public Health Service physician who is authorized overseas or by a qualified medical specialist designated by the district director. The results of the test should be reported on Form G–620. Refusal to submit to a Specific Blood Group Antigen or HLA test when requested may constitute a basis for denial of the petition, unless a legitimate religious objection has been established. When a legitimate religious objection is established, alternate forms of evidence may be considered based upon documentation already submitted.

(vii) Primary evidence for an adopted child or son or daughter. A petition may be submitted on behalf of an adopted child or son or daughter by a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident if the adoption took place before the beneficiary's sixteenth birthday, and if the child has been in the legal custody of the adopting parent or parents and has resided with the adopting parent or parents for at least two years. A copy of the adoption decree, issued by the civil authorities, must accompany the petition.

(A) Legal custody means the assumption of responsibility for a minor by an adult under the laws of the state and under the order or approval of a court of law or other appropriate government entity. This provision requires that a legal process involving the courts or other recognized government entity take place. If the adopting parent was granted legal custody by the court or recognized governmental entity prior to the adoption, that period may be counted toward fulfillment of the two-year legal custody requirement. However, if custody was not granted prior to the adoption, the adoption decree shall be deemed to mark the commencement of legal custody. An informal custodial or guardianship document, such as a sworn affidavit signed before a notary public, is insufficient for this purpose.

(B) Evidence must also be submitted to show that the beneficiary resided with the petitioner for at least two years. Generally, such documentation must establish that the petitioner and the beneficiary resided together in a familial relationship. Evidence of parental control may include, but is not limited to, evidence that the adoptive parent owns or maintains the property where the child resides and provides financial support and day-to-day supervision. The evidence must clearly indicate the physical living arrangements of the adopted child, the adoptive parent(s), and the natural parent(s) for the period of time during which the adoptive parent claims to have met the residence requirement. When the adopted child continued to reside in the same household as a natural parent(s) during the period in which the adoptive parent petitioner seeks to establish his or her compliance with this requirement, the petitioner has the burden of establishing that he or she exercised primary parental control during that period of residence.

(C) Legal custody and residence occurring prior to or after the adoption will satisfy both requirements. Legal custody, like residence, is accounted for in the aggregate. Therefore, a break in legal custody or residence will not affect the time already fulfilled. To meet the definition of child contained in sections 101(b)(1)(E) and 101(b)(2) of the Act, the child must have been under 16 years of age when the adoption is finalized.

(D) On or after the Convention effective date, as defined in 8 CFR part 204.301, a United States citizen who is habitually resident in the United States, as determined under 8 CFR 204.303, may not file a Form I–130 under this section on behalf of child who was habitually resident in a Convention country, as determined under 8 CFR 204.303, unless the adoption was completed before the Convention effective date. In the case of any adoption occurring on or after the Convention effective date, a Form I–130 may be filed and approved only if the United States citizen petitioner was not habitually resident in the United States at the time of the adoption.

(E) For purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(vii)(D) of this section, USCIS will deem a United States citizen, 8 CFR 204.303 notwithstanding, to have been habitually resident outside the United States, if the citizen satisfies the 2–year joint residence and custody requirements by residing with the child outside the United States.

(F) For purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(vii)(D) of this section, USCIS will not approve a Form I–130 under section 101(b)(1)(E) of the Act on behalf of an alien child who is present in the United States based on an adoption that is entered on or after the Convention effective date, but whose habitual residence immediately before the child's arrival in the United States was in a Convention country. However, the U.S. citizen seeking the child's adoption may file a Form I–800A and Form I–800 under 8 CFR part 204, subpart C.

(3) Decision on and disposition of petition. The approved petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's Processing Center. If the beneficiary is in the United States and is eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 3.3.

(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A spouse or child accompanying or following to join a principal alien as used in this section may be accorded the same preference and priority date as the principal alien without the necessity of a separate petition. However, a child of an alien who is approved for classification as an immediate relative is not eligible for derivative classification and must have a separate petition approved on his or her behalf.

(5) Name change. When the petitioner's name does not appear on the child's birth certificate, evidence of the name change (such as the petitioner's marriage certificate, legal document showing name change, or other similar evidence) must accompany the petition. If the beneficiary's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must also accompany the petition.

(e) Self-petition by child of abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident--

(1) Eligibility.

(i) A child may file a self-petition under section 204(a)(1)(A)(iv) or 204(a)(1)(B)(iii) of the Act if he or she:

(A) Is the child of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States;

(B) Is eligible for immigrant classification under section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) or 203(a)(2)(A) of the Act based on that relationship;

(C) Is residing in the United States;

(D) Has resided in the United States with the citizen or lawful permanent resident parent;

(E) Has been battered by, or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by, the citizen or lawful permanent resident parent while residing with that parent;

(F) Is a person of good moral character; and

(G) Is a person whose deportation would result in extreme hardship to himself or herself.

(ii) Parent-child relationship to the abuser. The self-petitioning child must be unmarried, less than 21 years of age, and otherwise qualify as the abuser's child under the definition of child contained in section 101(b)(1) of the Act when the petition is filed and when it is approved. Termination of the abuser's parental rights or a change in legal custody does not alter the self-petitioning relationship provided the child meets the requirements of section 101(b)(1) of the Act.

(iii) Citizenship or immigration status of the abuser. The abusive parent must be a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident of the United States when the petition is filed and when it is approved. Changes in the abuser's citizenship or lawful permanent resident status after the approval will have no effect on the self-petition. A self-petition approved on the basis of a relationship to an abusive lawful permanent resident will not be automatically upgraded to immediate relative status. The self-petitioning child would not be precluded, however, from filing a new self-petition for immediate relative classification after the abuser's naturalization, provided the self-petitioning child continues to meet the self-petitioning requirements.

(iv) Eligibility for immigrant classification. A self-petitioner is required to comply with the provisions of section 204(c) of the Act, section 204(g) of the Act, and section 204(a)(2) of the Act.

(v) Residence. A self-petition will not be approved if the self-petitioner is not residing in the United States when the self-petition is filed. The self-petitioner is not required to be living with the abuser when the petition is filed, but he or she must have resided with the abuser in the United States in the past.

(vi) Battery or extreme cruelty. For the purpose of this chapter, the phrase “was battered by or was the subject of extreme cruelty” includes, but is not limited to, being the victim of any act or threatened act of violence, including any forceful detention, which results or threatens to result in physical or mental injury. Psychological or sexual abuse or exploitation, including rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor), or forced prostitution shall be considered acts of violence. Other abusive actions may also be acts of violence under certain circumstances, including acts that, in and of themselves, may not initially appear violent but are a part of an overall pattern of violence. The qualifying abuse must have been committed by the citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, must have been perpetrated against the self-petitioner, and must have taken place while the self-petitioner was residing with the abuser.

(vii) Good moral character. A self-petitioner will be found to lack good moral character if he or she is a person described in section 101(f) of the Act. Extenuating circumstances may be taken into account if the person has not been convicted of an offense or offenses but admits to the commission of an act or acts that could show a lack of good moral character under section 101(f) of the Act. A person who was subjected to abuse in the form of forced prostitution or who can establish that he or she was forced to engage in other behavior that could render the person excludable under section 212(a) of the Act would not be precluded from being found to be a person of good moral character, provided the person has not been convicted for the commission of the offense or offenses in a court of law. A self-petitioner will also be found to lack good moral character, unless he or she establishes extenuating circumstances, if he or she willfully failed or refused to support dependents; or committed unlawful acts that adversely reflect upon his or her moral character, or was convicted or imprisoned for such acts, although the acts do not require an automatic finding of lack of good moral character. A self-petitioner's claim of good moral character will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the provisions of section 101(f) of the Act and the standards of the average citizen in the community. If the results of record checks conducted prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa or approval of an application for adjustment of status disclose that the self-petitioner is no longer a person of good moral character or that he or she has not been a person of good moral character in the past, a pending self-petition will be denied or the approval of a self-petition will be revoked.

(viii) Extreme hardship. The Service will consider all credible evidence of extreme hardship submitted with a self-petition, including evidence of hardship arising from circumstances surrounding the abuse. The extreme hardship claim will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis after a review of the evidence in the case. Self-petitioners are encouraged to cite and document all applicable factors, since there is no guarantee that a particular reason or reasons will result in a finding that deportation would cause extreme hardship. Hardship to persons other than the self-petitioner cannot be considered in determining whether a self-petitioning child's deportation would cause extreme hardship.

(2) Evidence for a child's self-petition--

(i) General. Self-petitioners are encouraged to submit primary evidence whenever possible. The Service will consider, however, any credible evidence relevant to the petition. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Service.

(ii) Relationship. A self-petition filed by a child must be accompanied by evidence of citizenship of the United States citizen or proof of the immigration status of the lawful permanent resident abuser. It must also be accompanied by evidence of the relationship. Primary evidence of the relationship between:

(A) The self-petitioning child and an abusive biological mother is the self-petitioner's birth certificate issued by civil authorities;

(B) A self-petitioning child who was born in wedlock and an abusive biological father is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities, the marriage certificate of the child's parents, and evidence of legal termination of all prior marriages, if any;

(C) A legitimated self-petitioning child and an abusive biological father is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities, and evidence of the child's legitimation;

(D) A self-petitioning child who was born out of wedlock and an abusive biological father is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities showing the father's name, and evidence that a bona fide parent-child relationship has been established between the child and the parent;

(E) A self-petitioning stepchild and an abusive stepparent is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities, the marriage certificate of the child's parent and the stepparent showing marriage before the stepchild reached 18 years of age, and evidence of legal termination of all prior marriages of either parent, if any; and

(F) An adopted self-petitioning child and an abusive adoptive parent is an adoption decree showing that the adoption took place before the child reached 16 years of age, and evidence that the child has been residing with and in the legal custody of the abusive adoptive parent for at least 2 years.

(iii) Residence. One or more documents may be submitted showing that the self-petitioner and the abuser have resided together in the United States. One or more documents may also be submitted showing that the self-petitioner is residing in the United States when the self-petition is filed. Employment records, school records, hospital or medical records, rental records, insurance policies, affidavits or any other type of relevant credible evidence of residency may be submitted.

(iv) Abuse. Evidence of abuse may include, but is not limited to, reports and affidavits from police, judges and other court officials, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, social workers, and other social service agency personnel. Persons who have obtained an order of protection against the abuser or taken other legal steps to end the abuse are strongly encouraged to submit copies of the relating legal documents. Evidence that the abuse victim sought safe-haven in a battered women's shelter or similar refuge may be relevant, as may a combination of documents such as a photograph of the visibly injured self-petitioner supported by affidavits. Other types of credible relevant evidence will also be considered. Documentary proof of non-qualifying abuse may only be used to establish a pattern of abuse and violence and to support a claim that qualifying abuse also occurred.

(v) Good moral character. Primary evidence of the self-petitioner's good moral character is the self-petitioner's affidavit. The affidavit should be accompanied by a local police clearance or a state-issued criminal background check from each locality or state in the United States in which the self-petitioner has resided for six or more months during the 3–year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition. Self-petitioners who lived outside the United States during this time should submit a police clearance, criminal background check, or similar report issued by the appropriate authority in the foreign country in which he or she resided for six or more months during the 3–year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition. If police clearances, criminal background checks, or similar reports are not available for some or all locations, the self-petitioner may include an explanation and submit other evidence with his or her affidavit. The Service will consider other credible evidence of good moral character, such as affidavits from responsible persons who can knowledgeably attest to the self-petitioner's good moral character. A child who is less than 14 years of age is presumed to be a person of good moral character and is not required to submit affidavits of good moral character, police clearances, criminal background checks, or other evidence of good moral character.

(vi) Extreme hardship. Evidence of extreme hardship may include affidavits, medical reports, protection orders and other court documents, police reports, and other relevant credible evidence.

(3) Decision on and disposition of the petition--

(i) Petition approved. If the self-petitioning child will apply for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the self-petitioner will apply for an immigrant visa abroad, the approved self-petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's National Visa Center.

(ii) Petition denied. If the self-petition is denied, the self-petitioner will be notified in writing of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal the decision.

(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A child of a self-petitioning child is not eligible for derivative classification and must have a petition filed on his or her behalf if seeking immigrant classification.

(5) Name change. If the self-petitioner's current name is different than the name shown on the documents, evidence of the name change (such as the petitioner's marriage certificate, legal document showing the name change, or other similar evidence) must accompany the self-petition.

(6) Prima facie determination.

(i) Upon receipt of a self-petition under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the Service shall make a determination as to whether the petition and the supporting documentation establish a “prima facie case” for purposes of 8 U.S.C. 1641, as amended by section 501 of Public Law 104–208.

(ii) For purposes of paragraph (e)(6)(i) of this section, a prima facie case is established only if the petitioner submits a completed Form I–360 and other evidence supporting all of the elements required of a self-petitioner in paragraph (e)(1) of this section. A finding of prima facie eligibility does not relieve the petitioner of the burden of providing additional evidence in support of the petition and does not establish eligibility for the underlying petition.

(iii) If the Service determines that a petitioner has made a “prima facie case” the Service shall issue a Notice of Prima Facie Case to the petitioner. Such Notice shall be valid until the Service either grants or denies the petition.

(iv) For purposes of adjudicating the petition submitted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a prima facie determination:

(A) Shall not be considered evidence in support of the petition;

(B) Shall not be construed to make a determination of the credibility or probative value of any evidence submitted along with that petition; and,

(C) Shall not relieve the self-petitioner of his or her burden of complying with all of the evidentiary requirements of paragraph (e)(2) of this section.

(f) Petition for a parent--

(1) Eligibility. Only a United States citizen who is twenty-one years of age or older may file a petition on behalf of a parent for classification under section 201(b) of the Act.

(2) Evidence to support a petition for a parent. In addition to evidence of United States citizenship as listed in § 204.1(g) of this part, the petitioner must also provide evidence of the claimed relationship.

(i) Primary evidence if petitioner is a legitimate son or daughter. If a petition is submitted on behalf of the mother, the birth certificate of the petitioner showing the mother's name must accompany the petition. If the mother's name on the birth certificate is different from her name as reflected in the petition, evidence of the name change must also be submitted. If a petition is submitted on behalf of the father, the birth certificate of the petitioner, a marriage certificate of the parents, and proof of legal termination of the parents' prior marriages, if any, issued by civil authorities must accompany the petition. If the father's name on the birth certificate has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must also accompany the petition.

(ii) Primary evidence if petitioner is a legitimated son or daughter. A child can be legitimated through the marriage of his or her natural parents, by the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, or by the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile. If the legitimation is based on the natural parent's marriage, such marriage must have taken place while the child was under the age of eighteen. If the legitimation is based on the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, the law must have taken effect before the child's eighteenth birthday. If the legitimation is based on the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile, the father must have resided--while the child was under eighteen years of age--in the country or state under whose laws the child has been legitimated. Primary evidence of the relationship should consist of petitioner's birth certificate and the parents' marriage certificate or other evidence of legitimation issued by civil authorities.

(iii) Primary evidence if the petitioner is an illegitimate son or daughter. If a petition is submitted on behalf of the mother, the petitioner's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the mother's name, must accompany the petition. If the mother's name on the birth certificate is different from her name as reflected in the petition, evidence of the name change must also be submitted. If the petition is submitted on behalf of the purported father of the petitioner, the petitioner must show that the beneficiary is his or her natural father and that a bona fide parent-child relationship was established when the petitioner was unmarried and under twenty-one years of age. Such a relationship will be deemed to exist or to have existed where the father demonstrates or has demonstrated an active concern for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare. Primary evidence to establish that the beneficiary is the petitioner's natural father is the petitioner's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the father's name. If the father's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must accompany the petition. Evidence of a parent/child relationship should establish more than merely a biological relationship. Emotional and/or financial ties or a genuine concern and interest by the father for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare must be shown. There should be evidence that the father and child actually lived together or that the father held the child out as being his own, that he provided for some or all of the child's needs, or that in general the father's behavior evidenced a genuine concern for the child. The most persuasive evidence for establishing a bona fide parent/child relationship is documentary evidence which was contemporaneous with the events in question. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to: money order receipts or cancelled checks showing the father's financial support of the beneficiary; the father's income tax returns; the father's medical or insurance records which include the petitioner as a dependent; school records for the petitioner; correspondence between the parties; or notarized affidavits of friends, neighbors, school officials, or other associates knowledgeable as to the relationship.

(iv) Primary evidence if petitioner is an adopted son or daughter. A petition may be submitted for an adoptive parent by a United States citizen who is twenty-one years of age or older if the adoption took place before the petitioner's sixteenth birthday and if the two year legal custody and residence requirements have been met. A copy of the adoption decree, issued by the civil authorities, must accompany the petition.

(A) Legal custody means the assumption of responsibility for a minor by an adult under the laws of the state and under the order or approval of a court of law or other appropriate government entity. This provision requires that a legal process involving the courts or other recognized government entity take place. If the adopting parent was granted legal custody by the court or recognized governmental entity prior to the adoption, that period may be counted toward fulfillment of the two-year legal custody requirement. However, if custody was not granted prior to the adoption, the adoption decree shall be deemed to mark the commencement of legal custody. An informal custodial or guardianship document, such as a sworn affidavit signed before a notary public, is insufficient for this purpose.

(B) Evidence must also be submitted to show that the beneficiary resided with the petitioner for at least two years. Generally, such documentation must establish that the petitioner and the beneficiary resided together in a parental relationship. The evidence must clearly indicate the physical living arrangements of the adopted child, the adoptive parent(s), and the natural parent(s) for the period of time during which the adoptive parent claims to have met the residence requirement. When the adopted child continued to reside in the same household as a natural parent(s) during the period in which the adoptive parent petitioner seeks to establish his or her compliance with this requirement, the petitioner has the burden of establishing that he or she exercised primary parental control during that period of residence.

(C) Legal custody and residence occurring prior to or after the adoption will satisfy both requirements. Legal custody, like residence, is accounted for in the aggregate. Therefore, a break in legal custody or residence will not affect the time already fulfilled. To meet the definition of child contained in sections 101(b)(1)(E) and 101(b)(2) of the Act, the child must have been under 16 years of age when the adoption is finalized.
(D) On or after the Convention effective date, as defined in 8 CFR part 204.301, a United States citizen who is habitually resident in the United States, as determined under 8 CFR 204.303, may not file a Form I–130 under this section on behalf of child who was habitually resident in a Convention country, as determined under 8 CFR 204.303, unless the adoption was completed before the Convention effective date. In the case of any adoption occurring on or after the Convention effective date, a Form I–130 may be filed and approved only if the United States citizen petitioner was not habitually resident in the United States at the time of the adoption.
(E) For purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(vii)(D) of this section, USCIS will deem a United States citizen, 8 CFR 204.303notwithstanding, to have been habitually resident outside the United States, if the citizen satisfies the 2–year joint residence and custody requirements by residing with the child outside the United States.
(F) For purposes of paragraph (d)(2)(vii)(D) of this section, USCIS will not approve a Form I–130 under section 101(b)(1)(E) of the Act on behalf of an alien child who is present in the United States based on an adoption that is entered on or after the Convention effective date, but whose habitual residence immediately before the child's arrival in the United States was in a Convention country. However, the U.S. citizen seeking the child's adoption may file a Form I–800A and Form I–800 under 8 CFR part 204, subpart C.
(3) Decision on and disposition of petition. The approved petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's Processing Center. If the beneficiary is in the United States and is eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 3.3.
(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A spouse or child accompanying or following to join a principal alien as used in this section may be accorded the same preference and priority date as the principal alien without the necessity of a separate petition. However, a child of an alien who is approved for classification as an immediate relative is not eligible for derivative classification and must have a separate petition approved on his or her behalf.
(5) Name change. When the petitioner's name does not appear on the child's birth certificate, evidence of the name change (such as the petitioner's marriage certificate, legal document showing name change, or other similar evidence) must accompany the petition. If the beneficiary's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must also accompany the petition.
(e) Self-petition by child of abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident—
(1) Eligibility.
(i) A child may file a self-petition under section 204(a)(1)(A)(iv) or 204(a)(1)(B)(iii) of the Act if he or she:
(A) Is the child of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States;
(B) Is eligible for immigrant classification under section 201(b)(2)(A)(i) or 203(a)(2)(A) of the Act based on that relationship;
(C) Is residing in the United States;
(D) Has resided in the United States with the citizen or lawful permanent resident parent;
(E) Has been battered by, or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by, the citizen or lawful permanent resident parent while residing with that parent;
(F) Is a person of good moral character; and
(G) Is a person whose deportation would result in extreme hardship to himself or herself.
(ii) Parent-child relationship to the abuser. The self-petitioning child must be unmarried, less than 21 years of age, and otherwise qualify as the abuser's child under the definition of child contained in section 101(b)(1) of the Act when the petition is filed and when it is approved. Termination of the abuser's parental rights or a change in legal custody does not alter the self-petitioning relationship provided the child meets the requirements of section 101(b)(1) of the Act.
(iii) Citizenship or immigration status of the abuser. The abusive parent must be a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident of the United States when the petition is filed and when it is approved. Changes in the abuser's citizenship or lawful permanent resident status after the approval will have no effect on the self-petition. A self-petition approved on the basis of a relationship to an abusive lawful permanent resident will not be automatically upgraded to immediate relative status. The self-petitioning child would not be precluded, however, from filing a new self-petition for immediate relative classification after the abuser's naturalization, provided the self-petitioning child continues to meet the self-petitioning requirements.
(iv) Eligibility for immigrant classification. A self-petitioner is required to comply with the provisions of section 204(c) of the Act, section 204(g) of the Act, and section 204(a)(2) of the Act.
(v) Residence. A self-petition will not be approved if the self-petitioner is not residing in the United States when the self-petition is filed. The self-petitioner is not required to be living with the abuser when the petition is filed, but he or she must have resided with the abuser in the United States in the past.
(vi) Battery or extreme cruelty. For the purpose of this chapter, the phrase “was battered by or was the subject of extreme cruelty” includes, but is not limited to, being the victim of any act or threatened act of violence, including any forceful detention, which results or threatens to result in physical or mental injury. Psychological or sexual abuse or exploitation, including rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor), or forced prostitution shall be considered acts of violence. Other abusive actions may also be acts of violence under certain circumstances, including acts that, in and of themselves, may not initially appear violent but are a part of an overall pattern of violence. The qualifying abuse must have been committed by the citizen or lawful permanent resident parent, must have been perpetrated against the self-petitioner, and must have taken place while the self-petitioner was residing with the abuser.
(vii) Good moral character. A self-petitioner will be found to lack good moral character if he or she is a person described in section 101(f) of the Act. Extenuating circumstances may be taken into account if the person has not been convicted of an offense or offenses but admits to the commission of an act or acts that could show a lack of good moral character under section 101(f) of the Act. A person who was subjected to abuse in the form of forced prostitution or who can establish that he or she was forced to engage in other behavior that could render the person excludable under section 212(a) of the Act would not be precluded from being found to be a person of good moral character, provided the person has not been convicted for the commission of the offense or offenses in a court of law. A self-petitioner will also be found to lack good moral character, unless he or she establishes extenuating circumstances, if he or she willfully failed or refused to support dependents; or committed unlawful acts that adversely reflect upon his or her moral character, or was convicted or imprisoned for such acts, although the acts do not require an automatic finding of lack of good moral character. A self-petitioner's claim of good moral character will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the provisions of section 101(f) of the Act and the standards of the average citizen in the community. If the results of record checks conducted prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa or approval of an application for adjustment of status disclose that the self-petitioner is no longer a person of good moral character or that he or she has not been a person of good moral character in the past, a pending self-petition will be denied or the approval of a self-petition will be revoked.
(viii) Extreme hardship. The Service will consider all credible evidence of extreme hardship submitted with a self-petition, including evidence of hardship arising from circumstances surrounding the abuse. The extreme hardship claim will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis after a review of the evidence in the case. Self-petitioners are encouraged to cite and document all applicable factors, since there is no guarantee that a particular reason or reasons will result in a finding that deportation would cause extreme hardship. Hardship to persons other than the self-petitioner cannot be considered in determining whether a self-petitioning child's deportation would cause extreme hardship.
(2) Evidence for a child's self-petition—
(i) General. Self-petitioners are encouraged to submit primary evidence whenever possible. The Service will consider, however, any credible evidence relevant to the petition. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Service.
(ii) Relationship. A self-petition filed by a child must be accompanied by evidence of citizenship of the United States citizen or proof of the immigration status of the lawful permanent resident abuser. It must also be accompanied by evidence of the relationship. Primary evidence of the relationship between:
(A) The self-petitioning child and an abusive biological mother is the self-petitioner's birth certificate issued by civil authorities;
(B) A self-petitioning child who was born in wedlock and an abusive biological father is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities, the marriage certificate of the child's parents, and evidence of legal termination of all prior marriages, if any;
(C) A legitimated self-petitioning child and an abusive biological father is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities, and evidence of the child's legitimation;
(D) A self-petitioning child who was born out of wedlock and an abusive biological father is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities showing the father's name, and evidence that a bona fide parent-child relationship has been established between the child and the parent;
(E) A self-petitioning stepchild and an abusive stepparent is the child's birth certificate issued by civil authorities, the marriage certificate of the child's parent and the stepparent showing marriage before the stepchild reached 18 years of age, and evidence of legal termination of all prior marriages of either parent, if any; and
(F) An adopted self-petitioning child and an abusive adoptive parent is an adoption decree showing that the adoption took place before the child reached 16 years of age, and evidence that the child has been residing with and in the legal custody of the abusive adoptive parent for at least 2 years.
(iii) Residence. One or more documents may be submitted showing that the self-petitioner and the abuser have resided together in the United States. One or more documents may also be submitted showing that the self-petitioner is residing in the United States when the self-petition is filed. Employment records, school records, hospital or medical records, rental records, insurance policies, affidavits or any other type of relevant credible evidence of residency may be submitted.
(iv) Abuse. Evidence of abuse may include, but is not limited to, reports and affidavits from police, judges and other court officials, medical personnel, school officials, clergy, social workers, and other social service agency personnel. Persons who have obtained an order of protection against the abuser or taken other legal steps to end the abuse are strongly encouraged to submit copies of the relating legal documents. Evidence that the abuse victim sought safe-haven in a battered women's shelter or similar refuge may be relevant, as may a combination of documents such as a photograph of the visibly injured self-petitioner supported by affidavits. Other types of credible relevant evidence will also be considered. Documentary proof of non-qualifying abuse may only be used to establish a pattern of abuse and violence and to support a claim that qualifying abuse also occurred.
(v) Good moral character. Primary evidence of the self-petitioner's good moral character is the self-petitioner's affidavit. The affidavit should be accompanied by a local police clearance or a state-issued criminal background check from each locality or state in the United States in which the self-petitioner has resided for six or more months during the 3–year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition. Self-petitioners who lived outside the United States during this time should submit a police clearance, criminal background check, or similar report issued by the appropriate authority in the foreign country in which he or she resided for six or more months during the 3–year period immediately preceding the filing of the self-petition. If police clearances, criminal background checks, or similar reports are not available for some or all locations, the self-petitioner may include an explanation and submit other evidence with his or her affidavit. The Service will consider other credible evidence of good moral character, such as affidavits from responsible persons who can knowledgeably attest to the self-petitioner's good moral character. A child who is less than 14 years of age is presumed to be a person of good moral character and is not required to submit affidavits of good moral character, police clearances, criminal background checks, or other evidence of good moral character.
(vi) Extreme hardship. Evidence of extreme hardship may include affidavits, medical reports, protection orders and other court documents, police reports, and other relevant credible evidence.
(3) Decision on and disposition of the petition—
(i) Petition approved. If the self-petitioning child will apply for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the self-petitioner will apply for an immigrant visa abroad, the approved self-petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's National Visa Center.
(ii) Petition denied. If the self-petition is denied, the self-petitioner will be notified in writing of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal the decision.
(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A child of a self-petitioning child is not eligible for derivative classification and must have a petition filed on his or her behalf if seeking immigrant classification.
(5) Name change. If the self-petitioner's current name is different than the name shown on the documents, evidence of the name change (such as the petitioner's marriage certificate, legal document showing the name change, or other similar evidence) must accompany the self-petition.
(6) Prima facie determination.
(i) Upon receipt of a self-petition under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the Service shall make a determination as to whether the petition and the supporting documentation establish a “prima facie case” for purposes of 8 U.S.C. 1641, as amended by section 501 of Public Law 104–208.
(ii) For purposes of paragraph (e)(6)(i) of this section, a prima facie case is established only if the petitioner submits a completed Form I–360 and other evidence supporting all of the elements required of a self-petitioner in paragraph (e)(1) of this section. A finding of prima facie eligibility does not relieve the petitioner of the burden of providing additional evidence in support of the petition and does not establish eligibility for the underlying petition.
(iii) If the Service determines that a petitioner has made a “prima facie case” the Service shall issue a Notice of Prima Facie Case to the petitioner. Such Notice shall be valid until the Service either grants or denies the petition.
(iv) For purposes of adjudicating the petition submitted under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a prima facie determination:
(A) Shall not be considered evidence in support of the petition;
(B) Shall not be construed to make a determination of the credibility or probative value of any evidence submitted along with that petition; and,
(C) Shall not relieve the self-petitioner of his or her burden of complying with all of the evidentiary requirements of paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
(f) Petition for a parent—
(1) Eligibility. Only a United States citizen who is twenty-one years of age or older may file a petition on behalf of a parent for classification under section 201(b) of the Act.
(2) Evidence to support a petition for a parent. In addition to evidence of United States citizenship as listed in § 204.1(g) of this part, the petitioner must also provide evidence of the claimed relationship.
(i) Primary evidence if petitioner is a legitimate son or daughter. If a petition is submitted on behalf of the mother, the birth certificate of the petitioner showing the mother's name must accompany the petition. If the mother's name on the birth certificate is different from her name as reflected in the petition, evidence of the name change must also be submitted. If a petition is submitted on behalf of the father, the birth certificate of the petitioner, a marriage certificate of the parents, and proof of legal termination of the parents' prior marriages, if any, issued by civil authorities must accompany the petition. If the father's name on the birth certificate has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must also accompany the petition.
(ii) Primary evidence if petitioner is a legitimated son or daughter. A child can be legitimated through the marriage of his or her natural parents, by the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, or by the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile. If the legitimation is based on the natural parent's marriage, such marriage must have taken place while the child was under the age of eighteen. If the legitimation is based on the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, the law must have taken effect before the child's eighteenth birthday. If the legitimation is based on the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile, the father must have resided—while the child was under eighteen years of age—in the country or state under whose laws the child has been legitimated. Primary evidence of the relationship should consist of petitioner's birth certificate and the parents' marriage certificate or other evidence of legitimation issued by civil authorities.
(iii) Primary evidence if the petitioner is an illegitimate son or daughter. If a petition is submitted on behalf of the mother, the petitioner's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the mother's name, must accompany the petition. If the mother's name on the birth certificate is different from her name as reflected in the petition, evidence of the name change must also be submitted. If the petition is submitted on behalf of the purported father of the petitioner, the petitioner must show that the beneficiary is his or her natural father and that a bona fide parent-child relationship was established when the petitioner was unmarried and under twenty-one years of age. Such a relationship will be deemed to exist or to have existed where the father demonstrates or has demonstrated an active concern for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare. Primary evidence to establish that the beneficiary is the petitioner's natural father is the petitioner's birth certificate, issued by civil authorities and showing the father's name. If the father's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must accompany the petition. Evidence of a parent/child relationship should establish more than merely a biological relationship. Emotional and/or financial ties or a genuine concern and interest by the father for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare must be shown. There should be evidence that the father and child actually lived together or that the father held the child out as being his own, that he provided for some or all of the child's needs, or that in general the father's behavior evidenced a genuine concern for the child. The most persuasive evidence for establishing a bona fide parent/child relationship is documentary evidence which was contemporaneous with the events in question. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to: money order receipts or cancelled checks showing the father's financial support of the beneficiary; the father's income tax returns; the father's medical or insurance records which include the petitioner as a dependent; school records for the petitioner; correspondence between the parties; or notarized affidavits of friends, neighbors, school officials, or other associates knowledgeable as to the relationship.
(iv) Primary evidence if petitioner is an adopted son or daughter. A petition may be submitted for an adoptive parent by a United States citizen who is twenty-one years of age or older if the adoption took place before the petitioner's sixteenth birthday and if the two year legal custody and residence requirements have been met. A copy of the adoption decree, issued by the civil authorities, must accompany the petition.
(A) Legal custody means the assumption of responsibility for a minor by an adult under the laws of the state and under the order or approval of a court of law or other appropriate government entity. This provision requires that a legal process involving the courts or other recognized government entity take place. If the adopting parent was granted legal custody by the court or recognized governmental entity prior to the adoption, that period may be counted toward fulfillment of the two-year legal custody requirement. However, if custody was not granted prior to the adoption, the adoption decree shall be deemed to mark the commencement of legal custody. An informal custodial or guardianship document, such as a sworn affidavit signed before a notary public, is insufficient for this purpose.
(B) Evidence must also be submitted to show that the beneficiary resided with the petitioner for at least two years. Generally, such documentation must establish that the petitioner and the beneficiary resided together in a parental relationship. The evidence must clearly indicate the physical living arrangements of the adopted child, the adoptive parent(s), and the natural parent(s) for the period of time during which the adoptive parent claims to have met the residence requirement.
(C) Legal custody and residence occurring prior to or after the adoption will satisfy both requirements. Legal custody, like residence, is accounted for in the aggregate. Therefore, a break in legal custody or residence will not affect the time already fulfilled. To meet the definition of child contained in sections 101(b)(1)(E) and 101(b)(2) of the Act, the child must have been under 16 years of age when the adoption is finalized.
(v) Name change. When the petition is filed by a child for the child's parent, and the parent's name is not on the child's birth certificate, evidence of the name change (such as the parent's marriage certificate, a legal document showing the parent's name change, or other similar evidence) must accompany the petition. If the petitioner's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must also accompany the petition.
(3) Decision on and disposition of petition. The approved petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's Processing Center. If the beneficiary is in the United States and is eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 3.3.
(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A child or a spouse of a principal alien who is approved for classification as an immediate relative is not eligible for derivative classification and must have a separate petition approved on his or her behalf.
(g) Petition for a brother or sister—
(1) Eligibility. Only a United States citizen who is twenty-one years of age or older may file a petition of a brother or sister for classification under section 203(a)(4) of the Act.
(2) Evidence to support a petition for brother or sister. In addition to evidence of United States citizenship, the petitioner must also provide evidence of the claimed relationship.
(i) Primary evidence if the siblings share a common mother or are both legitimate children of a common father. If a sibling relationship is claimed through a common mother, the petition must be supported by a birth certificate of the petitioner and a birth certificate of the beneficiary showing a common mother. If the mother's name on one birth certificate is different from her name as reflected on the other birth certificate or in the petition, evidence of the name change must also be submitted. If a sibling relationship is claimed through a common father, the birth certificates of the beneficiary and petitioner, a marriage certificate of the parents' and proof of legal termination of the parents, prior marriage(s), if any, issued by civil authorities must accompany the petition. If the father's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must also accompany the petition.
(ii) Primary evidence if either or both siblings are legitimated. A child can be legitimated through the marriage of his or her natural parents, by the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, or by the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile. If the legitimation is based on the natural parents' marriage, such marriage must have taken place while the child was under the age of eighteen. If the legitimation is based on the laws of the country or state of the child's residence or domicile, the law must have taken effect before the child's eighteenth birthday. If based on the laws of the country or state of the father's residence or domicile, the father must have resided—while the child was under eighteen years of age—in the country or state under whose laws the child has been legitimated. Primary evidence of the relationship should consist of the petitioner's birth certificate, the beneficiary's birth certificate, and the parents' marriage certificate or other evidence of legitimation issued by civil authorities.
(iii) Primary evidence if either sibling is illegitimate. If one or both of the siblings is (are) the illegitimate child(ren) of a common father, the petitioner must show that they are the natural children of the father and that a bona fide parent-child relationship was established when the illegitimate child(ren) was (were) unmarried and under twenty-one years of age. Such a relationship will be deemed to exist or to have existed where the father demonstrates or has demonstrated an active concern for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare. Primary evidence is the petitioner's and beneficiary's birth certificates, issued by civil authorities and showing the father's name, and evidence that the siblings have or had a bona fide parent/child relationship with the natural father. If the father's name has been legally changed, evidence of the name change must accompany the petition. Evidence of a parent/child relationship should establish more than merely a biological relationship. Emotional and/or financial ties or a genuine concern and interest by the father for the child's support, instruction, and general welfare must be shown. There should be evidence that the father and child actually lived together or that the father held the child out as being his own, that he provided for some or all of the child's needs, or that in general the father's behavior evidenced a genuine concern for the child. The most persuasive evidence for establishing a bona fide parent/child relationship is documentary evidence which was contemporaneous with the events in question. Such evidence may include, but is not limited to: money order receipts or canceled checks showing the father's financial support of the beneficiary; the father's income tax returns; the father's medical or insurance records which include the beneficiary as a dependent; school records for the beneficiary; correspondence between the parties; or notarized affidavits of friends, neighbors, school officials, or other associates knowledgeable about the relationship.
(iv) Primary evidence for stepsiblings. If the petition is submitted on behalf of a brother or sister having a common father, the relationship of both the petitioner and the beneficiary to the father must be established as required in paragraphs (g)(2)(ii) and (g)(2)(iii) of this section. If the petitioner and beneficiary are stepsiblings through the marriages of their common father to different mothers, the marriage certificates of the parents and evidence of the termination of any prior marriages of the parents must be submitted.
(3) Decision on and disposition of petition. The approved petition will be forwarded to the Department of State's Processing Center. If the beneficiary is in the United States and is eligible for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, the approved petition will be retained by the Service. If the petition is denied, the petitioner will be notified of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 3.3.
(4) Derivative beneficiaries. A spouse or a child accompanying or following to join a principal alien beneficiary under this section may be accorded the same preference and priority date as the principal alien without the necessity of a separate petition.
(5) Name change. If the name of the petitioner, the beneficiary, or both has been legally changed, evidence showing the name change (such as a marriage certificate, a legal document showing the name change, or other similar evidence) must accompany the petition.
(h) Validity of approved petitions—
(1) General. Unless terminated pursuant to section 203(g) of the Act or revoked pursuant to part 205 of this chapter, the approval of a petition to classify an alien as a preference immigrant under paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (a)(3), or (a)(4) of section 203 of the Act, or as an immediate relative under section 201(b) of the Act, shall remain valid for the duration of the relationship to the petitioner and of the petitioner's status as established in the petition.
(2) Subsequent petition by same petitioner for same beneficiary. When a visa petition has been approved, and subsequently a new petition by the same petitioner is approved for the same preference classification on behalf of the same beneficiary, the latter approval shall be regarded as a reaffirmation or reinstatement of the validity of the original petition, except when the original petition has been terminated pursuant to section 203(g) of the Act or revoked pursuant to part 205 of this chapter, or when an immigrant visa has been issued to the beneficiary as a result of the petition approval. A self-petition filed under section 204(a)(1)(A)(iii), 204(a)(1)(A)(iv), 204(a)(1)(B)(ii), 204(a)(1)(B)(iii) of the Act based on the relationship to an abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States will not be regarded as a reaffirmation or reinstatement of a petition previously filed by the abuser. A self-petitioner who has been the beneficiary of a visa petition filed by the abuser to accord the self-petitioner immigrant classification as his or her spouse or child, however, will be allowed to transfer the visa petition's priority date to the self-petition. The visa petition's priority date may be assigned to the self-petition without regard to the current validity of the visa petition. The burden of proof to establish the existence of and the filing date of the visa petition lies with the self-petitioner, although the Service will attempt to verify a claimed filing through a search of the Service's computerized records or other records deemed appropriate by the adjudicating officer. A new self-petition filed under section 204(a)(1)(A)(iii), 204(a)(1)(A)(iv), 204(a)(1)(B)(ii), or 204(a)(1)(B)(iii) of the Act will not be regarded as a reaffirmation or reinstatement of the original self-petition unless the prior and the subsequent self-petitions are based on the relationship to the same abusive citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States.
(i) Automatic conversion of preference classification—
(1) By change in beneficiary's marital status.
(i) A currently valid petition previously approved to classify the beneficiary as the unmarried son or daughter of a United States citizen under section 203(a)(1) of the Act shall be regarded as having been approved for preference status under section 203(a)(3) of the Act as of the date the beneficiary marries. The beneficiary's priority date is the same as the date the petition for classification under section 203(a)(1) of the Act was properly filed.
(ii) A currently valid petition previously approved to classify a child of a United States citizen as an immediate relative under section 201(b) of the Act shall be regarded as having been approved for preference status under section 203(a)(3) of the Act as of the date the beneficiary marries. The beneficiary's priority date is the same as the date the petition for 201(b) classification was properly filed.
(iii) A currently valid petition classifying the married son or married daughter of a United States citizen for preference status under section 203(a)(3) of the Act shall, upon legal termination of the beneficiary's marriage, be regarded as having been approved under section 203(a)(1) of the Act if the beneficiary is over twenty-one years of age. The beneficiary's priority date is the same as the date the petition for classification under section 203(a)(3) of the Act was properly filed. If the beneficiary is under twenty-one years of age, the petition shall be regarded as having been approved for classification as an immediate relative under section 201(b) of the Act as of the date the petition for classification under section 203(a)(3) of the Act was properly filed.
(iv) A currently valid visa petition previously approved to classify the beneficiary as an immediate relative as the spouse of a United States citizen must be regarded, upon the death of the petitioner, as having been approved as a Form I–360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant for classification under paragraph (b) of this section, if, on the date of the petitioner's death, the beneficiary satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section. If the petitioner dies before the petition is approved, but, on the date of the petitioner's death, the beneficiary satisfies the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section, then the petition shall be adjudicated as if it had been filed as a Form I–360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er) or Special Immigrant under paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) By the beneficiary's attainment of the age of twenty-one years. A currently valid petition classifying the child of a United States citizen as an immediate relative under section 201(b) of the Act shall be regarded as having been approved for preference status under section 203(a)(1) of the Act as of the beneficiary's twenty-first birthday. The beneficiary's priority date is the same as the date the petition for section 201(b) classification was filed.
(3) By the petitioner's naturalization. Effective upon the date of naturalization of a petitioner who had been lawfully admitted for permanent residence, a currently valid petition according preference status under section 203(a)(2) of the Act to the petitioner's spouse and unmarried children under twenty-one years of age shall be regarded as having been approved for immediate relative status under section 201(b) of the Act. Similarly, a currently valid petition according preference status under section 203(a)(2) of the Act for the unmarried son or daughter over twenty-one years of age shall be regarded as having been approved under section 203(a)(1) of the Act. In any case of conversion to classification under section 203(a)(1) of the Act, the beneficiary's priority date is the same as the date the petition for classification under section 203(a)(2) of the Act was properly filed. A self-petition filed under section 204(a)(1)(B)(ii) or 204(a)(1)(B)(iii) of the Act based on the relationship to an abusive lawful permanent resident of the United States for classification under section 203(a)(2) of the Act will not be affected by the abuser's naturalization and will not be automatically converted to a petition for immediate relative classification.

8 CFR § 207.7- Derivatives of Refugees

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 207.7 Derivatives of refugees.

(a) Eligibility. A spouse, as defined in section 101(a)(35) of the Act, and/or child(ren), as defined in section 101(b)(1)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) of the Act, shall be granted refugee status if accompanying or following-to-join the principal alien. An accompanying derivative is a spouse or child of a refugee who is in the physical company of the principal refugee when he or she is admitted to the United States, or a spouse or child of a refugee who is admitted within 4 months following the principal refugee's admission. A following-to-join derivative, on the other hand, is a spouse or child of a refugee who seeks admission more than 4 months after the principal refugee's admission to the United States.

(b) Ineligibility. The following relatives of refugees are ineligible for accompanying or following-to-join benefits:

(1) A spouse or child who has previously been granted asylee or refugee status;

(2) An adopted child, if the adoption took place after the child became 16 years old, or if the child has not been in the legal custody and living with the parent(s) for at least 2 years;

(3) A stepchild, if the marriage that created this relationship took place after the child became 18 years old;

(4) A husband or wife if each/both were not physically present at the marriage ceremony, and the marriage was not consummated (section 101(a)(35) of the Act);

(5) A husband or wife if the Secretary has determined that such alien has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading immigration laws; and

(6) A parent, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, cousin or in-law.

(c) Relationship. The relationship of a spouse and child as defined in sections 101(a)(35) and 101(b)(1)(A), (B), (C), (D), or (E), respectively, of the Act, must have existed prior to the refugee's admission to the United States and must continue to exist at the time of filing for accompanying or following-to-join benefits and at the time of the spouse or child's subsequent admission to the United States. If the refugee proves that the refugee is the parent of a child who was born after the refugee's admission as a refugee, but who was in utero on the date of the refugee's admission as a refugee, the child shall be eligible to accompany or follow-to-join the refugee. The child's mother, if not the principal refugee, shall not be eligible to accompany or follow-to-join the principal refugee unless the child's mother was the principal refugee's spouse on the date of the principal refugee's admission as a refugee.

(d) Filing. A refugee may request accompanying or following-to-join benefits for his or her spouse and unmarried, minor child(ren) (whether the spouse and children are inside or outside the United States) by filing a separate Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative in accordance with the form instructions for each qualifying family member. The request may only be filed by the principal refugee. Family members who derived their refugee status are not eligible to request derivative benefits on behalf of their spouse and child(ren). A separate Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative must be filed for each qualifying family member within two years of the refugee's admission to the United States unless USCIS determines that the filing period should be extended for humanitarian reasons. There is no time limit imposed on a family member's travel to the United States once the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative has been approved, provided that the relationship of spouse or child continues to exist and approval of the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative has not been subsequently revoked. There is no fee for this benefit request.

(e) Evidence. Documentary evidence consists of those documents which establish that the petitioner is a refugee, and evidence of the claimed relationship of the petitioner to the beneficiary. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that any person on whose behalf he/she is making a request under this section is an eligible spouse or unmarried, minor child. Evidence to establish the claimed relationship for a spouse or unmarried, minor child as set forth in 8 CFR part 204 must be submitted with the request for accompanying or following-to-join benefits. Where possible this will consist of the documents specified in § 204.2(a)(1)(i)(B), (a)(1)(iii)(B), (a)(2), (d)(2), and (d)(5) of this chapter.

(f) Approvals.

(1) Spouse or child in the United States. When a spouse or child of a refugee is in the United States and the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative is approved, USCIS will notify the refugee of such approval. Employment will be authorized incident to status.

(2) Spouse or child outside the United States. When a spouse or child of a refugee is outside the United States and the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative is approved, USCIS will notify the refugee of such approval. USCIS will send the approved request to the Department of State for transmission to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the area in which the refugee's spouse or child is located.

(3) Benefits. The approval of the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will remain valid for the duration of the relationship to the refugee and, in the case of a child, while the child is under 21 years of age and unmarried, provided also that the principal's status has not been revoked. However, the approved Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will cease to confer immigration benefits after it has been used by the beneficiary for admission to the United States as a derivative of a refugee. For a derivative inside or arriving in the United States, USCIS will issue a document reflecting the derivative's current status as a refugee to demonstrate employment authorization, or the derivative may apply, under 8 CFR 274a.12(a), for evidence of employment authorization.

(g) Denials. If the spouse or child of a refugee is found to be ineligible for derivative status, a written notice explaining the basis for denial shall be forwarded to the principal refugee. There shall be no appeal from this decision. However, the denial shall be without prejudice to the consideration of a new petition or motion to reopen the refugee or asylee relative petition proceeding, if the refugee establishes eligibility for the accompanying or following-to-join benefits contained in this part.

8 CFR § 208.13- Establishing asylum eligibility

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 208.13 Establishing asylum eligibility.

(a) Burden of proof. The burden of proof is on the applicant for asylum to establish that he or she is a refugee as defined in section 101(a)(42) of the Act. The testimony of the applicant, if credible, may be sufficient to sustain the burden of proof without corroboration. The fact that the applicant previously established a credible fear of persecution for purposes of section 235(b)(1)(B) of the Act does not relieve the alien of the additional burden of establishing eligibility for asylum.

(b) Eligibility. The applicant may qualify as a refugee either because he or she has suffered past persecution or because he or she has a well-founded fear of future persecution.

(1) Past persecution. An applicant shall be found to be a refugee on the basis of past persecution if the applicant can establish that he or she has suffered persecution in the past in the applicant's country of nationality or, if stateless, in his or her country of last habitual residence, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and is unable or unwilling to return to, or avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country owing to such persecution. An applicant who has been found to have established such past persecution shall also be presumed to have a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of the original claim. That presumption may be rebutted if an asylum officer or immigration judge makes one of the findings described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section. If the applicant's fear of future persecution is unrelated to the past persecution, the applicant bears the burden of establishing that the fear is well-founded.

(i) Discretionary referral or denial. Except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section, an asylum officer shall, in the exercise of his or her discretion, refer or deny, or an immigration judge, in the exercise of his or her discretion, shall deny the asylum application of an alien found to be a refugee on the basis of past persecution if any of the following is found by a preponderance of the evidence:

(A) There has been a fundamental change in circumstances such that the applicant no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution in the applicant's country of nationality or, if stateless, in the applicant's country of last habitual residence, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; or

(B) The applicant could avoid future persecution by relocating to another part of the applicant's country of nationality or, if stateless, another part of the applicant's country of last habitual residence, and under all the circumstances, it would be reasonable to expect the applicant to do so.

(ii) Burden of proof. In cases in which an applicant has demonstrated past persecution under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Service shall bear the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence the requirements of paragraphs (b)(1)(i)(A) or (B) of this section.

(iii) Grant in the absence of well-founded fear of persecution. An applicant described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section who is not barred from a grant of asylum under paragraph (c) of this section, may be granted asylum, in the exercise of the decision-maker's discretion, if:

(A) The applicant has demonstrated compelling reasons for being unwilling or unable to return to the country arising out of the severity of the past persecution; or

(B) The applicant has established that there is a reasonable possibility that he or she may suffer other serious harm upon removal to that country.

(2) Well-founded fear of persecution.

(i) An applicant has a well-founded fear of persecution if:

(A) The applicant has a fear of persecution in his or her country of nationality or, if stateless, in his or her country of last habitual residence, on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;

(B) There is a reasonable possibility of suffering such persecution if he or she were to return to that country; and

(C) He or she is unable or unwilling to return to, or avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of such fear.

(ii) An applicant does not have a well-founded fear of persecution if the applicant could avoid persecution by relocating to another part of the applicant's country of nationality or, if stateless, another part of the applicant's country of last habitual residence, if under all the circumstances it would be reasonable to expect the applicant to do so.

(iii) In evaluating whether the applicant has sustained the burden of proving that he or she has a well-founded fear of persecution, the asylum officer or immigration judge shall not require the applicant to provide evidence that there is a reasonable possibility he or she would be singled out individually for persecution if:

(A) The applicant establishes that there is a pattern or practice in his or her country of nationality or, if stateless, in his or her country of last habitual residence, of persecution of a group of persons similarly situated to the applicant on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; and

(B) The applicant establishes his or her own inclusion in, and identification with, such group of persons such that his or her fear of persecution upon return is reasonable.

(3) Reasonableness of internal relocation. For purposes of determinations under paragraphs (b)(1)(i), (b)(1)(ii), and (b)(2) of this section, adjudicators should consider, but are not limited to considering, whether the applicant would face other serious harm in the place of suggested relocation; any ongoing civil strife within the country; administrative, economic, or judicial infrastructure; geographical limitations; and social and cultural constraints, such as age, gender, health, and social and familial ties. Those factors may, or may not, be relevant, depending on all the circumstances of the case, and are not necessarily determinative of whether it would be reasonable for the applicant to relocate.

(i) In cases in which the applicant has not established past persecution, the applicant shall bear the burden of establishing that it would not be reasonable for him or her to relocate, unless the persecution is by a government or is government-sponsored.

(ii) In cases in which the persecutor is a government or is government-sponsored, or the applicant has established persecution in the past, it shall be presumed that internal relocation would not be reasonable, unless the Service establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that, under all the circumstances, it would be reasonable for the applicant to relocate.

(c) Mandatory denials--

(1) Applications filed on or after April 1, 1997. For applications filed on or after April 1, 1997, an applicant shall not qualify for asylum if section 208(a)(2) or 208(b)(2) of the Act applies to the applicant. If the applicant is found to be ineligible for asylum under either section 208(a)(2) or 208(b)(2) of the Act, the applicant shall be considered for eligibility for withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3) of the Act. The applicant shall also be considered for eligibility for withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture if the applicant requests such consideration or if the evidence presented by the alien indicates that the alien may be tortured in the country of removal.

(2) Applications filed before April 1, 1997.

(i) An immigration judge or asylum officer shall not grant asylum to any applicant who filed his or her application before April 1, 1997, if the alien:

(A) Having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime in the United States, constitutes a danger to the community;

(B) Has been firmly resettled within the meaning of § 208.15;

(C) Can reasonably be regarded as a danger to the security of the United States;

(D) Has been convicted of an aggravated felony, as defined in section 101(a)(43) of the Act; or

(E) Ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

(F) Is described within section 212(a)(3)(B)(i)(I), (II), and (III) of the Act as it existed prior to April 1, 1997, and as amended by the Anti-terrorist and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (AEDPA), unless it is determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the individual is a danger to the security of the United States.

(ii) If the evidence indicates that one of the above grounds apply to the applicant, he or she shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he or she did not so act.

8 CFR § 208.21- Admission of the asylee's spouse and children

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 208.21 Admission of the asylee's spouse and children.

(a) Eligibility. In accordance with section 208(b)(3) of the Act, a spouse, as defined in section 101(a)(35) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(35), or child, as defined in section 101(b)(1) of the Act, also may be granted asylum if accompanying, or following to join, the principal alien who was granted asylum, unless it is determined that the spouse or child is ineligible for asylum under section 208(b)(2)(A)(i), (ii), (iii), (iv) or (v) of the Act for applications filed on or after April 1, 1997, or under § 208.13(c)(2)(i)(A), (C), (D), (E), or (F) for applications filed before April 1, 1997.

(b) Relationship. The relationship of spouse and child as defined in sections 101(a)(35) and 101(b)(1) of the Act must have existed at the time the principal alien's asylum application was approved and must continue to exist at the time of filing for accompanying or following-to-join benefits and at the time of the spouse or child's subsequent admission to the United States. If the asylee proves that the asylee is the parent of a child who was born after asylum was granted, but who was in utero on the date of the asylum grant, the child shall be eligible to accompany or follow-to-join the asylee. The child's mother, if not the principal asylee, shall not be eligible to accompany or follow-to-join the principal asylee unless the child's mother was the principal asylee's spouse on the date the principal asylee was granted asylum.

(c) Spouse or child in the United States. When a spouse or child of an alien granted asylum is in the United States, but was not included in the asylee's benefit request, the asylee may request accompanying or following-to-join benefits for his or her spouse or child, by filing for each qualifying family member a Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative, with supporting evidence, and in accordance with the form instructions, regardless of the status of that spouse or child in the United States. A separate Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative must be filed by the asylee for each qualifying family member within two years of the date in which he or she was granted asylum status, unless it is determined by USCIS that this period should be extended for humanitarian reasons. Upon approval of the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative, USCIS will notify the asylee of such approval. Employment will be authorized incident to status. To demonstrate employment authorization, USCIS will issue a document reflecting the derivative's current status as an asylee, or the derivative may apply, under 8 CFR 274a.12(a), for employment authorization. The approval of the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will remain valid for the duration of the relationship to the asylee and, in the case of a child, while the child is under 21 years of age and unmarried, provided also that the principal's status has not been revoked. However, the approved Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will cease to confer immigration benefits after it has been used by the beneficiary for admission to the United States as a derivative of an asylee.

(d) Spouse or child outside the United States. When a spouse or child of an alien granted asylum is outside the United States, the asylee may request accompanying or following-to-join benefits for his or her spouse or child(ren) by filing a separate Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative for each qualifying family member in accordance with the form instructions. A separate Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative for each qualifying family member must be filed within two years of the date in which the asylee was granted asylum, unless USCIS determines that the filing period should be extended for humanitarian reasons. When the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative is approved, USCIS will notify the asylee of such approval. USCIS also will send the approved request to the Department of State for transmission to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the area in which the asylee's spouse or child is located. The approval of the Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will remain valid for the duration of the relationship to the asylee and, in the case of a child, while the child is under 21 years of age and unmarried, provided also that the principal's status has not been revoked. However, the approved Request for Refugee/Asylee Relative will cease to confer immigration benefits after it has been used by the beneficiary for admission to the United States as a derivative of an asylee.

(e) Denial. If the spouse or child is found to be ineligible for the status accorded under section 208(c) of the Act, a written notice stating the basis for denial shall be forwarded to the principal alien. No appeal shall lie from this decision.

(f) Burden of proof. To establish the claimed relationship of spouse or child as defined in sections 101(a)(35) and 101(b)(1) of the Act, evidence must be submitted with the request as set forth in part 204 of this chapter. Where possible this will consist of the documents specified in § 204.2 (a)(1)(i)(B), (a)(1)(iii)(B), (a)(2), (d)(2), and (d)(5) of this chapter. The burden of proof is on the principal alien to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that any person on whose behalf he or she is making a request under this section is an eligible spouse or child.

(g) Duration. The spouse or child qualifying under section 208(c) of the Act shall be granted asylum for an indefinite period unless the principal's status is revoked.

8 CFR § 208.4- Filing the application

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 208.4 Filing the application.

Except as prohibited in paragraph (a) of this section, asylum applications shall be filed in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(a) Prohibitions on filing. Section 208(a)(2) of the Act prohibits certain aliens from filing for asylum on or after April 1, 1997, unless the alien can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that one of the exceptions in section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Act applies. Such prohibition applies only to asylum applications under section 208 of the Act and not to applications for withholding of removal under § 208.16. If an applicant files an asylum application and it appears that one or more of the prohibitions contained in section 208(a)(2) of the Act apply, an asylum officer, in an interview, or an immigration judge, in a hearing, shall review the application and give the applicant the opportunity to present any relevant and useful information bearing on any prohibitions on filing to determine if the application should be rejected. For the purpose of making determinations under section 208(a)(2) of the Act, the following rules shall apply:

(1) Authority. Only an asylum officer, an immigration judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals is authorized to make determinations regarding the prohibitions contained in section 208(a)(2)(B) or (C) of the Act.

(2) One-year filing deadline.

(i) For purposes of section 208(a)(2)(B) of the Act, an applicant has the burden of proving:

(A) By clear and convincing evidence that the application has been filed within 1 year of the date of the alien's arrival in the United States, or

(B) To the satisfaction of the asylum officer, the immigration judge, or the Board that he or she qualifies for an exception to the 1–year deadline.

(ii) The 1–year period shall be calculated from the date of the alien's last arrival in the United States or April 1, 1997, whichever is later. When the last day of the period so computed falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period shall run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. For the purpose of making determinations under section 208(a)(2)(B) of the Act only, an application is considered to have been filed on the date it is received by the Service, pursuant to § 103.2(a)(7) of this chapter. In a case in which the application has not been received by the Service within 1 year from the applicant's date of entry into the United States, but the applicant provides clear and convincing documentary evidence of mailing the application within the 1–year period, the mailing date shall be considered the filing date. For cases before the Immigration Court in accordance with § 3.13 of this chapter, the application is considered to have been filed on the date it is received by the Immigration Court. For cases before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the application is considered to have been filed on the date it is received by the Board. In the case of an application that appears to have been filed more than a year after the applicant arrived in the United States, the asylum officer, the immigration judge, or the Board will determine whether the applicant qualifies for an exception to the deadline. For aliens present in or arriving in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the 1–year period shall be calculated from either January 1, 2015, or from the date of the alien's last arrival in the United States (including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), whichever is later. No period of physical presence in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands prior to January 1, 2015, shall count toward the 1–year period. After November 28, 2009, any travel to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands from any other State shall not re-start the calculation of the 1–year period.

(3) Prior denial of application. For purposes of section 208(a)(2)(C) of the Act, an asylum application has not been denied unless denied by an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals.

(4) Changed circumstances.

(i) The term “changed circumstances” in section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Act shall refer to circumstances materially affecting the applicant's eligibility for asylum. They may include, but are not limited to:

(A) Changes in conditions in the applicant's country of nationality or, if the applicant is stateless, country of last habitual residence;

(B) Changes in the applicant's circumstances that materially affect the applicant's eligibility for asylum, including changes in applicable U.S. law and activities the applicant becomes involved in outside the country of feared persecution that place the applicant at risk; or

(C) In the case of an alien who had previously been included as a dependent in another alien's pending asylum application, the loss of the spousal or parent-child relationship to the principal applicant through marriage, divorce, death, or attainment of age 21.

(ii) The applicant shall file an asylum application within a reasonable period given those “changed circumstances.” If the applicant can establish that he or she did not become aware of the changed circumstances until after they occurred, such delayed awareness shall be taken into account in determining what constitutes a “reasonable period.”

(5) The term “extraordinary circumstances” in section 208(a)(2)(D) of the Act shall refer to events or factors directly related to the failure to meet the 1–year deadline. Such circumstances may excuse the failure to file within the 1–year period as long as the alien filed the application within a reasonable period given those circumstances. The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish to the satisfaction of the asylum officer, the immigration judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals that the circumstances were not intentionally created by the alien through his or her own action or inaction, that those circumstances were directly related to the alien's failure to file the application within the 1–year period, and that the delay was reasonable under the circumstances. Those circumstances may include but are not limited to:

(i) Serious illness or mental or physical disability, including any effects of persecution or violent harm suffered in the past, during the 1–year period after arrival;

(ii) Legal disability (e.g., the applicant was an unaccompanied minor or suffered from a mental impairment) during the 1–year period after arrival;

(iii) Ineffective assistance of counsel, provided that:

(A) The alien files an affidavit setting forth in detail the agreement that was entered into with counsel with respect to the actions to be taken and what representations counsel did or did not make to the respondent in this regard;

(B) The counsel whose integrity or competence is being impugned has been informed of the allegations leveled against him or her and given an opportunity to respond; and

(C) The alien indicates whether a complaint has been filed with appropriate disciplinary authorities with respect to any violation of counsel's ethical or legal responsibilities, and if not, why not;

(iv) The applicant maintained Temporary Protected Status, lawful immigrant or nonimmigrant status, or was given parole, until a reasonable period before the filing of the asylum application;

(v) The applicant filed an asylum application prior to the expiration of the 1–year deadline, but that application was rejected by the Service as not properly filed, was returned to the applicant for corrections, and was refiled within a reasonable period thereafter; and

(vi) The death or serious illness or incapacity of the applicant's legal representative or a member of the applicant's immediate family.

(6) Safe Third Country Agreement. Asylum officers have authority to apply section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act, relating to the determination that the alien may be removed to a safe country pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement, only as provided in 8 CFR 208.30(e). For provisions relating to the authority of immigration judges with respect to section 208(a)(2)(A), see 8 CFR 1240.11(g).

(b) Filing location. Form I–589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal, must be filed in accordance with the instructions on the form.

(c) Amending an application after filing. Upon request of the alien and as a matter of discretion, the asylum officer or immigration judge having jurisdiction may permit an asylum applicant to amend or supplement the application, but any delay caused by such request shall extend the period within which the applicant may not apply for employment authorization in accordance with § 208.7(a).

8 CFR § 209.1- Adjustment of status of refugees

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 209.1 Adjustment of status of refugees.

The provisions of this section shall provide the sole and exclusive procedure for adjustment of status by a refugee admitted under section 207 of the Act whose application is based on his or her refugee status.
(a) Eligibility.
(1) Every alien in the United States who is classified as a refugee under 8 CFR part 207, whose status has not been terminated, is required to apply to USCIS one year after entry in order for USCIS to determine his or her admissibility under section 212 of the Act, without regard to paragraphs (4), (5), and (7)(A) of section 212(a) of the Act.
(2) Every alien processed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service abroad and paroled into the United States as a refugee after April 1, 1980, and before May 18, 1980, shall be considered as having entered the United States as a refugee under section 207(a) of the Act.
(b) Application. Upon admission to the United States, every refugee entrant will be notified of the requirement to submit an application for permanent residence one year after entry. An application for the benefits of section 209(a) of the Act must be submitted along with the biometrics required by 8 CFR 103.16 and in accordance with the applicable form instructions.
(c) Medical examination. A refugee seeking adjustment of status under section 209(a) of the Act is not required to repeat the medical examination performed under § 207.2(c), unless there were medical grounds of inadmissibility applicable at the time of admission. The refugee is, however, required to establish compliance with the vaccination requirements described under section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act.
(d) Interview. USCIS will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether an interview by an immigration officer is necessary to determine the applicant's admissibility for permanent resident status under this part.
(e) Decision. USCIS will notify the applicant in writing of the decision on his or her application. There is no appeal of a denial, but USCIS will notify an applicant of the right to renew the request for permanent residence in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act. If the applicant is found to be admissible for permanent residence under section 209(a) of the Act, USCIS will approve the application, admit the applicant for lawful permanent residence as of the date of the alien's arrival in the United States, and issue proof of such status.
(f) Inadmissible Alien. An applicant who is inadmissible to the United States as described in 8 CFR 209.1(a)(1), may, under section 209(c) of the Act, have the grounds of inadmissibility waived by USCIS except for those grounds under sections 212(a)(2)(C) and 212(a)(3)(A), (B), (C), or (E) of the Act for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest. An application for the waiver may be requested with the application for adjustment, in accordance with the form instructions.

8 CFR § 209.2- Adjustment of status of alien granted asylum

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 209.2 Adjustment of status of alien granted asylum.

The provisions of this section shall be the sole and exclusive procedure for adjustment of status by an asylee admitted under section 208 of the Act whose application is based on his or her asylee status.

(a) Eligibility.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) or (a)(3) of this section, the status of any alien who has been granted asylum in the United States may be adjusted by USCIS to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, provided the alien:

(i) Applies for such adjustment;

(ii) Has been physically present in the United States for at least one year after having been granted asylum;

(iii) Continues to be a refugee within the meaning of section 101(a)(42) of the Act, or is the spouse or child of a refugee;

(iv) Has not been firmly resettled in any foreign country; and

(v) Is admissible to the United States as an immigrant under the Act at the time of examination for adjustment without regard to paragraphs (4), (5)(A), (5)(B), and (7)(A)(i) of section 212(a) of the Act, and

(vi) has a refugee number available under section 207(a) of the Act.

(2) An alien, who was granted asylum in the United States prior to November 29, 1990 (regardless of whether or not such asylum has been terminated under section 208(b) of the Act), and is no longer a refugee due to a change in circumstances in the foreign state where he or she feared persecution, may also have his or her status adjusted by USCIS to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence even if he or she is no longer able to demonstrate that he or she continues to be a refugee within the meaning of section 10l(a)(42) of the Act, or to be a spouse or child of such a refugee or to have been physically present in the United States for at least one year after being granted asylum, so long as he or she is able to meet the requirements noted in paragraphs (a)(1)(i), (iv), and (v) of this section.

(3) No alien arriving in or physically present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands may apply to adjust status under section 209(b) of the Act in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands prior to January 1, 2015.

(b) Inadmissible Alien. An applicant who is not admissible to the United States as described in 8 CFR 209.2(a)(1)(v), may, under section 209(c) of the Act, have the grounds of inadmissibility waived by USCIS except for those grounds under sections 212(a)(2)(C) and 212(a)(3)(A), (B), (C), or (E) of the Act for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest. An application for the waiver may be requested with the application for adjustment, in accordance with the form instructions. An applicant for adjustment under this part who has had the status of an exchange alien nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(J) of the Act, and who is subject to the foreign resident requirement of section 212(e) of the Act, shall be eligible for adjustment without regard to the foreign residence requirement if otherwise eligible for adjustment.

(c) Application. An application for the benefits of section 209(b) of the Act may be filed in accordance with the form instructions. If an alien has been placed in removal, deportation, or exclusion proceedings, the application can be filed and considered only in proceedings under section 240 of the Act.

(d) Medical examination. For an alien seeking adjustment of status under section 209(b) of the Act, the alien shall submit a medical examination to determine whether any grounds of inadmissibility described under section 212(a)(1)(A) of the Act apply. The asylee is also required to establish compliance with the vaccination requirements described under section 212(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Act.

(e) Interview. USCIS will determine, on a case-by-case basis, whether an interview by an immigration officer is necessary to determine the applicant's admissibility for permanent resident status under this part.

(f) Decision. USCIS will notify the applicant in writing of the decision on his or her application. There is no appeal of a denial, but USCIS will notify an applicant of the right to renew the request in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act. If the application is approved, USCIS will record the alien's admission for lawful permanent residence as of the date one year before the date of the approval of the application, but not earlier than the date of the approval for asylum in the case of an applicant approved under paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

8 CFR § 214.1- Requirements for admission, extension, and maintenance of status

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 214.1 Requirements for admission, extension, and maintenance of status.

(a) General—
(1) Nonimmigrant classes. For the purpose of administering the nonimmigrant provisions of the Act, the following administrative subclassifications of nonimmigrant classifications as defined in section 101(a)(15) of the Act are established:
(i) Section 101(a)(15)(B) is divided into (B)(i) for visitors for business and (B)(ii) for visitors for pleasure;
(ii) Section 101(a)(15)(C) is divided into (C)(i) for aliens who are not diplomats and are in transit through the United States; (C)(ii) for aliens in transit to and from the United Nations Headquarters District; and (C)(iii) for alien diplomats in transit through the United States;
(iii) Section 101(a)(15)(H) is divided to create an (H)(iv) subclassification for the spouse and children of a nonimmigrant classified under section 101(a)(15)(H)(i), (ii), or (iii);
(iv) Section 101(a)(15)(J) is divided into (J)(i) for principal aliens and (J)(ii) for such alien's spouse and children;
(v) Section 101(a)(15)(K) is divided into (K)(i) for the fianceé(e), (K)(ii) for the spouse, and (K)(iii) for the children of either;
(vi) Section 101(a)(15)(L) is divided into (L)(i) for principal aliens and (L)(ii) for such alien's spouse and children;
(vii) Section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii) is divided to create a (Q)(iii) for subclassification for the spouse and children of a nonimmigrant classified under section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii) of the Act;
(viii) Section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii) is divided into (T)(ii), (T)(iii), (T)(iv), and (T)(v) for the spouse, child, parent, and unmarried sibling under 18 years of age, respectively, of a principal nonimmigrant classified under section 101(a)(15)(T)(i); and T(vi) for the adult or minor child of a derivative nonimmigrant classified under section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii); and
(ix) Section 101(a)(15)(U)(ii) is divided into (U)(ii), (U)(iii), (U)(iv), and (U)(v) for the spouse, child, parent, and siblings, respectively, of a nonimmigrant classified under section 101(a)(15)(U)(i); and
(2) Classification designations. For the purpose of this chapter the following nonimmigrant designations are established. The designation in the second column may be used to refer to the appropriate nonimmigrant classification.
Section
Designation
101(a)(15)(A)(i)
A-1.
101(a)(15)(A)(ii)
A-2.
101(a)(15)(A)(iii)
A-3.
101(a)(15)(B)(i)
B-1.
101(a)(15)(B)(ii)
B-2.
101(a)(15)(C)(i)
C-1.
101(a)(15)(C)(ii)
C-2.
101(a)(15)(C)(iii)
C-3.
101(a)(15)(D)(i)
D-1.
101(a)(15)(D)(ii)
D-2.
101(a)(15)(E)(i)
E-1.
101(a)(15)(E)(ii)
E-2.
101(a)(15)(F)(i)
F-1.
101(a)(15)(F)(ii)
F-2.
101(a)(15)(G)(i)
G-1.
101(a)(15)(G)(ii)
G-2.
101(a)(15)(G)(iii)
G-3.
101(a)(15)(G)(iv)
G-4.
101(a)(15)(G)(v)
G-5.
101(a)(15)(H)(i)(B)
H-1B.
101(a)(15)(H)(i)(C)
H-1C.
101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(A)
H-2A.
101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(B)
H-2B.
101(a)(15)(H)(iii)
H-3.
101(a)(15)(H)(iv)
H-4.
101(a)(15)(I)
I.
101(a)(15)(J)(i)
J-1.
101(a)(15)(J)(ii)
J-2.
101(a)(15)(K)(i)
K-1.
101(a)(15)(K)(ii)
K-3.
101(a)(15)(K)(iii)
K-2; K-4.
101(a)(15)(L)(i)
L-1.
101(a)(15)(L)(ii)
L-2.
101(a)(15)(M)(i)
M-1.
101(a)(15)(M)(ii)
M-2.
101(a)(15)(N)(i)
N-8.
101(a)(15)(N)(ii)
N-9.
101(a)(15)(O)(i)
O-1.
101(a)(15)(O)(ii)
O-2.
101(a)(15)(O)(iii)
O-3.
101(a)(15)(P)(i)
P-1.
101(a)(15)(P)(ii)
P-2.
101(a)(15)(P)(iii)
P-3.
101(a)(15)(P)(iv)
P-4.
101(a)(15)(Q)(i)
Q-1.
101(a)(15)(Q)(ii)
Q-2.
101(a)(15)(Q)(iii)
Q-3.
101(a)(15)(R)(i)
R-1.
101(a)(15)(R)(ii)
R-2.
101(a)(15)(S)(i)
S-5.
101(a)(15)(S)(ii)
S-6.
101(a)(15)(S) qualified family members
S-7.
101(a)(15)(T)(i)
T–1.
101(a)(15)(T)(ii)
T–2.
101(a)(15)(T)(iii)
T–3.
101(a)(15)(T)(iv)
T–4.
101(a)(15)(T)(v)
T–5.
101(a)(15)(T)(vi)
T–6.
101(a)(15)(U)(i)
U-1.
101(a)(15)(U)(ii)
U-2, U-3, U-4, U-5.
101(a)(15)(V)
V-1, V-2, or V-3.
NAFTA, Principal
TN.
NAFTA, Dependent
TD.
Visa Waiver, Business
WB.
Visa Waiver, Tourist
WT.
Note 1: The classification designation K–2 is for the child of a K–1. The classification designation K–4 is for the child of a K–3.
Note 2: The classification designation V–1 is for the spouse of a lawful permanent resident; the classification designation V–2 is for the principal beneficiary of an I–130 who is the child of an LPR; the classification V–3 is for the derivative child of a V–1 or V–2 alien.
(3) General requirements.
(i) Every nonimmigrant alien who applies for admission to, or an extension of stay in, the United States, must establish that he or she is admissible to the United States, or that any ground of inadmissibility has been waived under section 212(d)(3) of the Act. Upon application for admission, the alien must present a valid passport and valid visa unless either or both documents have been waived. A nonimmigrant alien's admission to the United States is conditioned on compliance with any inspection requirement in § 235.1(d) or of this chapter, as well as compliance with part 215, subpart B, of this chapter, if applicable. The passport of an alien applying for admission must be valid for a minimum of six months from the expiration date of the contemplated period of stay, unless otherwise provided in this chapter, and the alien must agree to abide by the terms and conditions of his or her admission. An alien applying for extension of stay must present a passport only if requested to do so by the Department of Homeland Security. The passport of an alien applying for extension of stay must be valid at the time of application for extension, unless otherwise provided in this chapter, and the alien must agree to maintain the validity of his or her passport and to abide by all the terms and conditions of his extension.
(ii) At the time of admission or extension of stay, every nonimmigrant alien must also agree to depart the United States at the expiration of his or her authorized period of admission or extension of stay, or upon abandonment of his or her authorized nonimmigrant status, and to comply with the departure procedures at section 215.8 of this chapter if such procedures apply to the particular alien. The nonimmigrant alien's failure to comply with those departure requirements, including any requirement that the alien provide biometric identifiers, may constitute a failure of the alien to maintain the terms of his or her nonimmigrant status.
(iii) At the time a nonimmigrant alien applies for admission or extension of stay, he or she must post a bond on Form I–352 in the sum of not less than $500, to ensure the maintenance of his or her nonimmigrant status and departure from the United States, if required to do so by the Commissioner of CBP, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an immigration judge, or the Board of Immigration Appeals.
(b) Readmission of nonimmigrants under section 101(a)(15)(F), (J), (M), or (Q)(ii) to complete unexpired periods of previous admission or extension of stay—
(1) Section 101(a)(15)(F). The inspecting immigration officer shall readmit for duration of status as defined in § 214.2(f)(5)(iii), any nonimmigrant alien whose nonimmigrant visa is considered automatically revalidated pursuant to 22 CFR 41.125(f) and who is applying for readmission under section 101(a)(15)(F) of the Act, if the alien:
(i) Is admissible;
(ii) Is applying for readmission after an absence from the United States not exceeding thirty days solely in contiguous territory or adjacent islands;
(iii) Is in possession of a valid passport unless exempt from the requirement for presentation of a passport; and
(iv) Presents, or is the accompanying spouse or child of an alien who presents, an Arrival–Departure Record, Form I–94 (see § 1.4), issued to the alien in connection with the previous admission or stay, the alien's Form I–20 ID copy, and either:
(A) A properly endorsed page 4 of Form I–20A–B if there has been no substantive change in the information on the student's most recent Form I–20A since the form was initially issued; or
(B) A new Form I–20A–B if there has been any substantive change in the information on the student's most recent Form I–20A since the form was initially issued.
(2) Section 101(a)(15)(J). The inspecting immigration officer shall readmit for the unexpired period of stay authorized prior to the alien's departure, any nonimmigrant alien whose nonimmigrant visa is considered automatically revalidated pursuant to 22 CFR 41.125(f) and who is applying for readmission under section 101(a)(15)(J) of the Act, if the alien:
(i) Is admissible;
(ii) Is applying for readmission after an absence from the United States not exceeding thirty days solely in contiguous territory or adjacent islands;
(iii) Is in possession of a valid passport unless exempt from the requirement for the presentation of a passport; and
(iv) Presents, or is the accompanying spouse or child of an alien who presents, Form I–94 issued to the alien in connection with the previous admission or stay or copy three of the last Form IAP–66 issued to the alien. Form I–94 or Form IAP–66 must show the unexpired period of the alien's stay endorsed by the Service.
(3) Section 101(a)(15)(M). The inspecting immigration officer shall readmit for the unexpired period of stay authorized prior to the alien's departure, any nonimmigrant alien whose nonimmigrant visa is considered automatically revalidated pursuant to 22 CFR 41.125(f) and who is applying for readmission under section 101(a)(15)(M) of the Act, if the alien:
(i) Is admissible;
(ii) Is applying for readmission after an absence not exceeding thirty days solely in contiguous territory;
(iii) Is in possession of a valid passport unless exempt from the requirement for presentation of a passport; and
(iv) Presents, or is the accompanying spouse or child of an alien who presents, Form I–94 issued to the alien in connection with the previous admission or stay, the alien's Form I–20 ID copy, and a properly endorsed page 4 of Form I–20M–N.
(4) Section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii). The inspecting immigration officer shall readmit for the unexpired period of stay authorized prior to the alien's departure, if the alien:
(i) Is admissible;
(ii) Is applying for readmission after an absence from the United States not exceeding 30 days solely in contiguous territory or adjacent islands;
(iii) Is in possession of a valid passport;
(iv) Presents, or is the accompanying spouse or child of an alien who presents, an Arrival–Departure Record, Form I–94, issued to the alien in connection with the previous admission or stay. The principal alien must also present a Certification Letter issued by the Department of State's Program Administrator.
(c) Extensions of stay—
(1) Extension of stay for certain employment-based nonimmigrant workers. A petitioner seeking the services of an E–1, E–2, E–3, H–1B, H–1B1, H–2A, H–2B, H–3, L–1, O–1, O–2, P–1, P–2, P–3, Q–1, R–1, or TN nonimmigrant beyond the period previously granted, must apply for an extension of stay on the form designated by USCIS, with the fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1), with the initial evidence specified in § 214.2, and in accordance with the form instructions. Dependents holding derivative status may be included in the petition if it is for only one worker and the form version specifically provides for their inclusion. In all other cases dependents of the worker should file on Form I–539.
(2) Filing on Form I–539. Any other nonimmigrant alien, except an alien in F or J status who has been granted duration of status, who seeks to extend his or her stay beyond the currently authorized period of admission, must apply for an extension of stay on Form I–539 with the fee required in § 103.7 of this chapter together with any initial evidence specified in the applicable provisions of § 214.2, and on the application form. More than one person may be included in an application where the co-applicants are all members of a single family group and either all hold the same nonimmigrant status or one holds a nonimmigrant status and the other co-applicants are his or her spouse and/or children who hold derivative nonimmigrant status based on his or her status. Extensions granted to members of a family group must be for the same period of time. The shortest period granted to any member of the family shall be granted to all members of the family. In order to be eligible for an extension of stay, nonimmigrant aliens in K–3/K–4 status must do so in accordance with § 214.2(k)(10).
(3) Ineligible for extension of stay. A nonimmigrant in any of the following classes is ineligible for an extension of stay:
(i) B–1 or B–2 where admission was pursuant to the Visa Waiver Pilot Program;
(ii) C–1, C–2, C–3;
(iii) D–1, D–2;
(iv) K–1, K–2;
(v) Any nonimmigrant admitted for duration of status, other than as provided in § 214.2(f)(7);
(vi) Any nonimmigrant who is classified pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(S) of the Act beyond a total of 3 years; or
(vii) Any nonimmigrant who is classified according to section 101(a)(15)(Q)(ii) of the Act beyond a total of 3 years.
(viii) Any nonimmigrant admitted pursuant to the Guam–CNMI Visa Waiver Program, as provided in section 212(l) of the Act.
(4) Timely filing and maintenance of status. An extension of stay may not be approved for an applicant who failed to maintain the previously accorded status or where such status expired before the application or petition was filed, except that failure to file before the period of previously authorized status expired may be excused in the discretion of the Service and without separate application, with any extension granted from the date the previously authorized stay expired, where it is demonstrated at the time of filing that:
(i) The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or petitioner, and the Service finds the delay commensurate with the circumstances;
(ii) The alien has not otherwise violated his or her nonimmigrant status;
(iii) The alien remains a bona fide nonimmigrant; and
(iv) The alien is not the subject of deportation proceedings under section 242 of the Act (prior to April 1, 1997) or removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act.
(5) Decision in Form I–129 or I–539 extension proceedings. Where an applicant or petitioner demonstrates eligibility for a requested extension, it may be granted at the discretion of the Service. There is no appeal from the denial of an application for extension of stay filed on Form I–129 or I–539.
(d) Termination of status. Within the period of initial admission or extension of stay, the nonimmigrant status of an alien shall be terminated by the revocation of a waiver authorized on his or her behalf under section 212(d)(3) or (4) of the Act; by the introduction of a private bill to confer permanent resident status on such alien; or, pursuant to notification in the Federal Register, on the basis of national security, diplomatic, or public safety reasons.
(e) Employment. A nonimmigrant in the United States in a class defined in section 101(a)(15)(B) of the Act as a temporary visitor for pleasure, or section 101(a)(15)(C) of the Act as an alien in transit through this country, may not engage in any employment. Any other nonimmigrant in the United States may not engage in any employment unless he has been accorded a nonimmigrant classification which authorizes employment or he has been granted permission to engage in employment in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. A nonimmigrant who is permitted to engage in employment may engage only in such employment as has been authorized. Any unauthorized employment by a nonimmigrant constitutes a failure to maintain status within the meaning of section 241(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Act.
(f) False information. A condition of a nonimmigrant's admission and continued stay in the United States is the full and truthful disclosure of all information requested by DHS. A nonimmigrant's willful failure to provide full and truthful information requested by DHS (regardless of whether or not the information requested was material) constitutes a failure to maintain nonimmigrant status under section 237(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Act.
(g) Criminal activity. A condition of a nonimmigrant's admission and continued stay in the United States is obedience to all laws of United States jurisdictions which prohibit the commission of crimes of violence and for which a sentence of more than one year imprisonment may be imposed. A nonimmigrant's conviction in a jurisdiction in the United States for a crime of violence for which a sentence of more than one year imprisonment may be imposed (regardless of whether such sentence is in fact imposed) constitutes a failure to maintain status under section 241(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Act.
(h) Education privacy and F, J, and M nonimmigrants. As authorized by section 641(c)(2) of Division C of Pub.L. 104–208, 8 U.S.C. 1372, and § 2.1(a) of this chapter, the Service has determined that, with respect to F and M nonimmigrant students and J nonimmigrant exchange visitors, waiving the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, is necessary for the proper implementation of 8 U.S.C. 1372. An educational agency or institution may not refuse to report information concerning an F or M nonimmigrant student or a J nonimmigrant exchange visitor that the educational agency or institution is required to report under 8 U.S.C. 1372 and § 214.3(g) (or any corresponding Department of State regulation concerning J nonimmigrants) on the basis of FERPA and any regulation implementing FERPA. The waiver of FERPA under this paragraph authorizes and requires an educational agency or institution to report information concerning an F, J or M nonimmigrant that would ordinarily be protected by FERPA, but only to the extent that 8 U.S.C. 1372 and § 214.3(g) (or any corresponding Department of State regulation concerning J nonimmigrants) requires the educational agency or institution to report information.
(i) Employment in a health care occupation.
(1) Except as provided in 8 CFR 212.15(n), any alien described in 8 CFR 212.15(a) who is coming to the United States to perform labor in a health care occupation described in 8 CFR 212.15(c) must obtain a certificate from a credentialing organization described in 8 CFR 212.15(e). The certificate or certified statement must be presented to the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with 8 CFR 212.15(d). In the alternative, an eligible alien seeking admission as a nurse may obtain a certified statement as provided in 8 CFR 212.15(h).
(2) A TN nonimmigrant may establish that he or she is eligible for a waiver described at 8 CFR 212.15(n) by providing evidence that his or her initial admission as a TN (or TC) nonimmigrant health care worker occurred before September 23, 2003, and he or she was licensed and employed in the United States as a health care worker before September 23, 2003. Evidence may include, but is not limited to, copies of TN or TC approval notices, copies of Form I–94 Arrival/Departure Records, employment verification letters and/or pay-stubs or other employment records, and state health care worker licenses.
(j) Extension of stay or change of status for health care worker. In the case of any alien admitted temporarily as a nonimmigrant under section 212(d)(3) of the Act and 8 CFR 212.15(n) for the primary purpose of the providing labor in a health care occupation described in 8 CFR 212.15(c), the petitioning employer may file a Form I–129 to extend the approval period for the alien's classification for the nonimmigrant status. If the alien is in the United States and is eligible for an extension of stay or change of status, the Form I–129 also serves as an application to extend the period of the alien's authorized stay or to change the alien's status. Although the Form I–129 petition may be approved, as it relates to the employer's request to classify the alien, the application for an extension of stay or change of status shall be denied if:
(1) The petitioner or applicant fails to submit the certification required by 8 CFR 212.15(a) with the petition or application to extend the alien's stay or change the alien's status; or
(2) The petition or application to extend the alien's stay or change the alien's status does include the certification required by 8 CFR 212.15(a), but the alien obtained the certification more than 1 year after the date of the alien's admission under section 212(d)(3) of the Act and 8 CFR 212.15(n). While DHS may admit, extend the period of authorized stay, or change the status of a nonimmigrant health care worker for a period of 1 year if the alien does not have certification on or before July 26, 2004 (or on or before July 26, 2005, in the case of a citizen of Canada or Mexico, who, before September 23, 2003, was employed as a TN or TC nonimmigrant health care worker and held a valid license from a U.S. jurisdiction), the alien will not be eligible for a subsequent admission, change of status, or extension of stay as a health care worker if the alien has not obtained the requisite certification 1 year after the initial date of admission, change of status, or extension of stay as a health care worker.
(k) Denial of petitions under section 214(c) of the Act based on a finding by the Department of Labor. Upon debarment by the Department of Labor pursuant to 20 CFR part 655, USCIS may deny any petition filed by that petitioner for nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(H) (except for status under sections 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1)), (L), (O), and (P)(i) of the Act) for a period of at least 1 year but not more than 5 years. The length of the period shall be based on the severity of the violation or violations. The decision to deny petitions, the time period for the bar to petitions, and the reasons for the time period will be explained in a written notice to the petitioner.
(l) Period of stay.
(1) An alien admissible in E–1, E–2, E–3, H–1B, L–1, or TN classification and his or her dependents may be admitted to the United States or otherwise provided such status for the validity period of the petition, or for a validity period otherwise authorized for the E–1, E–2, E–3, and TN classifications, plus an additional period of up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. Unless authorized under 8 CFR 274a.12, the alien may not work except during the validity period.
(2) An alien admitted or otherwise provided status in E–1, E–2, E–3, H–1B, H–1B1, L–1, O–1 or TN classification and his or her dependents shall not be considered to have failed to maintain nonimmigrant status solely on the basis of a cessation of the employment on which the alien's classification was based, for up to 60 consecutive days or until the end of the authorized validity period, whichever is shorter, once during each authorized validity period. DHS may eliminate or shorten this 60–day period as a matter of discretion. Unless otherwise authorized under 8 CFR 274a.12, the alien may not work during such a period.
(3) An alien in any authorized period described in paragraph (l) of this section may apply for and be granted an extension of stay under paragraph (c)(4) of this section or change of status under 8 CFR 248.1, if otherwise eligible.

8 CFR § 214.11- Alien victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 214.11 Alien victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons.

(a) Definitions. Where applicable, USCIS will apply the definitions provided in section 103 and 107(e) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) with due regard for the definitions and application of these terms in 28 CFR part 1100 and the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 77. As used in this section the term:
Application for derivative T nonimmigrant status means a request by a principal alien on behalf of an eligible family member for derivative T–2, T–3, T–4, T–5, or T–6 nonimmigrant status on the form designated by USCIS for that purpose.
Application for T nonimmigrant status means a request by a principal alien for T–1 nonimmigrant status on the form designated by USCIS for that purpose.
Bona fide determination means a USCIS determination that an application for T–1 nonimmigrant status has been initially reviewed and determined that the application does not appear to be fraudulent, is complete and properly filed, includes completed fingerprint and background checks, and presents prima facie evidence of eligibility for T–1 nonimmigrant status including admissibility.
Child means a person described in section 101(b)(1) of the Act.
Coercion means threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.
Commercial sex act means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.
Debt bondage means the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of his or her personal services or of those of a person under his or her control as a security for debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined.
Derivative T nonimmigrant means an eligible family member who has been granted T–2, T–3, T–4, T–5, or T–6 derivative status. A family member outside of the United States is not a derivative T nonimmigrant until he or she is granted a T–2, T–3, T–4, T–5, or T–6 visa by the Department of State and is admitted to the United States in derivative T nonimmigrant status.
Eligible family member means a family member who may be eligible for derivative T nonimmigrant status based on his or her relationship to an alien victim and, if required, upon a showing of a present danger or retaliation; and:
(1) In the case of an alien victim who is 21 years of age or older, means the spouse and children of such alien;
(2) In the case of an alien victim under 21 years of age, means the spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18 years of age, and parents of such alien; and
(3) Regardless of the age of an alien victim, means any parent or unmarried sibling under 18 years of age, or adult or minor child of a derivative of such alien where the family member faces a present danger of retaliation as a result of the alien victim's escape from a severe form of trafficking or cooperation with law enforcement.
Involuntary servitude means a condition of servitude induced by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that, if the person did not enter into or continue in such condition, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or a condition of servitude induced by the abuse or threatened abuse of legal process. Involuntary servitude includes a condition of servitude in which the victim is forced to work for the defendant by the use or threat of physical restraint or physical injury, or by the use or threat of coercion through the law or the legal process. This definition encompasses those cases in which the defendant holds the victim in servitude by placing the victim in fear of such physical restraint or injury or legal coercion.
Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) means a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, prosecutor, judge, labor agency, children's protective services agency, or other authority that has the responsibility and authority for the detection, investigation, and/or prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons. Federal LEAs include but are not limited to the following: U.S. Attorneys' Offices, Civil Rights Division, Criminal Division, U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (Department of Justice); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP); Diplomatic Security Service (Department of State); and Department of Labor.
Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) endorsement means an official LEA endorsement on the form designated by USCIS for such purpose.
Peonage means a status or condition of involuntary servitude based upon real or alleged indebtedness.
Principal T nonimmigrant means the victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons who has been granted T–1 nonimmigrant status.
Reasonable request for assistance means a request made by an LEA to a victim to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the acts of trafficking in persons or the investigation of crime where acts of trafficking are at least one central reason for the commission of that crime. The “reasonableness” of the request depends on the totality of the circumstances. Factors to consider include, but are not limited to: General law enforcement and prosecutorial practices; the nature of the victimization; the specific circumstances of the victim; severe trauma (both mental and physical); access to support services; whether the request would cause further trauma: The safety of the victim or the victim's family; compliance with other requests and the extent of such compliance; whether the request would yield essential information; whether the information could be obtained without the victim's compliance; whether an interpreter or attorney was present to help the victim understand the request; cultural, religious, or moral objections to the request; the time the victim had to comply with the request; and the age and maturity of the victim.
Severe form of trafficking in persons means sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act is under the age of 18 years; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.
Sex trafficking means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
United States means the fifty States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons (victim) means an alien who is or has been subject to a severe form of trafficking in persons.
(b) Eligibility for T–1 status. An alien is eligible for T–1 nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(T)(i) of the Act if he or she demonstrates all of the following, subject to section 214(o) of the Act:
(1) Victim. The alien is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
(2) Physical presence. The alien is physically present in the United States or at a port-of-entry thereto, according to paragraph (g) of this section.
(3) Compliance with any reasonable request for assistance. The alien has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in a Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking in persons, or the investigation of a crime where acts of trafficking in persons are at least one central reason for the commission of that crime, or meets one of the conditions described below.
(i) Exemption for minor victims. An alien under 18 years of age is not required to comply with any reasonable request.
(ii) Exception for trauma. An alien who, due to physical or psychological trauma, is unable to cooperate with a reasonable request for assistance in the Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking in persons, or the investigation of a crime where acts of trafficking in persons are at least one central reason for the commission of that crime, is not required to comply with such reasonable request.
(4) Hardship. The alien would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal.
(5) Prohibition against traffickers in persons. No alien will be eligible to receive T nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Act if there is substantial reason to believe that the alien has committed an act of a severe form of trafficking in persons.
(c) Period of admission.
(1) T–1 Principal. T–1 nonimmigrant status may be approved for a period not to exceed 4 years, except as provided in section 214(o)(7) of the Act.
(2) Derivative family members. A derivative family member who is otherwise eligible for admission may be granted T–2, T–3, T–4, T–5, or T–6 nonimmigrant status for an initial period that does not exceed the expiration date of the initial period approved for the T–1 principal alien, except as provided in section 214(o)(7) of the Act.
(3) Notice. At the time an alien is approved for T nonimmigrant status or receives an extension of T nonimmigrant status, USCIS will notify the alien when his or her T nonimmigrant status will expire. USCIS also will notify the alien that the failure to apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident, as set forth in 8 CFR 245.23, will result in termination of the alien's T nonimmigrant status in the United States at the end of the 4–year period or any extension.
(d) Application. USCIS has sole jurisdiction over all applications for T nonimmigrant status.
(1) Filing an application. An alien seeking T–1 nonimmigrant status must submit an application for T nonimmigrant status on the form designated by USCIS in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2 and with the evidence described in paragraph (d) of this section.
(i) Applicants in pending immigration proceedings. An alien in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, or in exclusion or deportation proceedings under former sections 236 or 242 of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997), and who wishes to apply for T–1 nonimmigrant status must file an application for T nonimmigrant status directly with USCIS. In its discretion, DHS may agree to the alien's request to file with the immigration judge or the Board a joint motion to administratively close or terminate proceedings without prejudice, whichever is appropriate, while an application for T nonimmigrant status is adjudicated by USCIS.
(ii) Applicants with final orders of removal, deportation, or exclusion. An alien subject to a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion may file an application for T–1 nonimmigrant status directly with USCIS. The filing of an application for T nonimmigrant status has no effect on DHS authority or discretion to execute a final order of removal, although the alien may request an administrative stay of removal pursuant to 8 CFR 241.6(a). If the alien is in detention pending execution of the final order, the period of detention (under the standards of 8 CFR 241.4) reasonably necessary to bring about the applicant's removal will be extended during the period the stay is in effect. If USCIS subsequently determines under the procedures in paragraph (e) of this section that the application is bona fide, DHS will automatically grant an administrative stay of the final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion, and the stay will remain in effect until a final decision is made on the application for T nonimmigrant status.
(iii) Minor applicants. When USCIS receives an application from a minor principal alien under the age of 18, USCIS will notify the Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate the provision of interim assistance.
(2) Initial evidence. An application for T nonimmigrant status must include:
(i) The applicant's signed statement describing the facts of the victimization and compliance with any reasonable law enforcement request (or a basis for why he or she has not complied) and any other eligibility requirements in his or her own words;
(ii) Any credible evidence that the applicant would like USCIS to consider supporting any of the eligibility requirements set out in paragraphs (f), (g), (h) and (i) of this section; and
(iii) Inadmissible applicants. If an applicant is inadmissible based on a ground that may be waived, he or she must also submit a request for a waiver of inadmissibility on the form designated by USCIS with the fee prescribed by 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1), in accordance with form instructions and 8 CFR 212.16, and accompanied by supporting evidence.
(3) Evidence from law enforcement. An applicant may wish to submit evidence from an LEA to help establish certain eligibility requirements for T nonimmigrant status. Evidence from an LEA is optional and is not given any special evidentiary weight.
(i) Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) endorsement. An LEA endorsement is optional evidence that can be submitted to help demonstrate victimization and/or compliance with reasonable requests. An LEA endorsement is not mandatory and is not given any special evidentiary weight. An LEA endorsement itself does not grant a benefit and is one form of possible evidence but it does not lead to automatic approval of the application for T nonimmigrant status by USCIS. If provided, the LEA endorsement must be submitted on the form designated by USCIS in accordance with the form instructions and must be signed by a supervising official responsible for the detection, investigation or prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons. The LEA endorsement must attach the results of any name or database inquiries performed and describe the victimization (including dates where known) and the cooperation of the victim. USCIS, not the LEA, will determine if the applicant was or is a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, and otherwise meets the eligibility requirements for T nonimmigrant status. The decision whether to complete an LEA endorsement is at the discretion of the LEA. A formal investigation or prosecution is not required to complete an LEA endorsement.
(ii) Disavowed or revoked LEA endorsement. An LEA may revoke or disavow the contents of a previously submitted endorsement in writing. After revocation or disavowal, the LEA endorsement will no longer be considered as evidence.
(iii) Continued Presence. An applicant granted Continued Presence under 28 CFR 110.35 should submit documentation of the grant of Continued Presence. If Continued Presence has been revoked, it will no longer be considered as evidence.
(iv) Other evidence. An applicant may also submit any evidence regarding entry or admission into the United States or permission to remain in the United States or note that such evidence is contained in an applicant's immigration file.
(4) Biometric services. All applicants for T–1 nonimmigrant status must submit biometrics in accordance with 8 CFR 103.16.
(5) Evidentiary standards and burden of proof. The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate eligibility for T–1 nonimmigrant status. The applicant may submit any credible evidence relating to a T nonimmigrant application for consideration by USCIS. USCIS will conduct a de novo review of all evidence and may investigate any aspect of the application. Evidence previously submitted by the applicant for any immigration benefit or relief may be used by USCIS in evaluating the eligibility of an applicant for T–1 nonimmigrant status. USCIS will not be bound by previous factual determinations made in connection with a prior application or petition for any immigration benefit or relief. USCIS will determine, in its sole discretion, the evidentiary value of previously or concurrently submitted evidence.
(6) Interview. USCIS may require an applicant for T nonimmigrant status to participate in a personal interview. The necessity and location of the interview is determined solely by USCIS in accordance with 8 CFR part 103. Every effort will be made to schedule the interview in a location convenient to the applicant.
(7) Bona fide determination. Once an alien submits an application for T–1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS will conduct an initial review to determine if the application is a bona fide application for T–1 nonimmigrant status under the provisions of paragraph (e) of this section.
(8) Decision. After completing its de novo review of the application and evidence, USCIS will issue a decision approving or denying the application in accordance with 8 CFR 103.3.
(9) Approval. If USCIS determines that the applicant is eligible for T–1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS will approve the application and grant T–1 nonimmigrant status, subject to the annual limitation as provided in paragraph (j) of this section. USCIS will provide the applicant with evidence of T–1 nonimmigrant status. USCIS may also notify other parties and entities of the approval as it determines appropriate, including any LEA providing an LEA endorsement and the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Refugee Resettlement, consistent with 8 U.S.C. 1367.
(i) Applicants with an outstanding order of removal, deportation or exclusion issued by DHS. For an applicant who is the subject of an order of removal, deportation or exclusion issued by DHS, the order will be deemed cancelled by operation of law as of the date of the USCIS approval of the application.
(ii) Applicants with an outstanding order of removal, deportation or exclusion issued by the Department of Justice. An applicant who is the subject of an order of removal, deportation or exclusion issued by an immigration judge or the Board may seek cancellation of such order by filing a motion to reopen and terminate removal proceedings with the immigration judge or the Board. ICE may agree, as a matter of discretion, to join such motion to overcome any applicable time and numerical limitations of 8 CFR 1003.2 and 1003.23.
(10) Denial. Upon denial of an application, USCIS will notify the applicant in accordance with 8 CFR 103.3. USCIS may also notify any LEA providing an LEA endorsement and the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Refugee Resettlement. If an applicant appeals a denial in accordance with 8 CFR 103.3, the denial will not become final until the administrative appeal is decided.
(i) Effect on bona fide determination. Upon denial of an application, any benefits derived from a bona fide determination will automatically be revoked when the denial becomes final.
(ii) Applicants previously in removal proceedings. In the case of an applicant who was previously in removal proceedings that were terminated on the basis of a pending application for T nonimmigrant status, once a denial becomes final, DHS may file a new Notice to Appear to place the individual in removal proceedings again.
(iii) Applicants subject to an order of removal, deportation or exclusion. In the case of an applicant who is subject to an order of removal, deportation or exclusion that had been stayed due to the pending application for T nonimmigrant status, the stay will be automatically lifted as of the date the denial becomes final.
(11) Employment authorization. An alien granted T–1 nonimmigrant status is authorized to work incident to status. There is no need for an alien to file a separate form to be granted employment authorization. USCIS will issue an initial Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to such aliens, which will be valid for the duration of the alien's T–1 nonimmigrant status. An alien granted T–1 nonimmigrant status seeking to replace an EAD that was lost, stolen, or destroyed must file an application on the form designated by USCIS in accordance with form instructions.
(e) Bona fide determination. Once an alien submits an application for T–1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS will conduct an initial review to determine if the application is a bona fide application for T–1 nonimmigrant status.
(1) Criteria. After initial review, an application will be determined to be bona fide if:
(i) The application is properly filed and is complete;
(ii) The application does not appear to be fraudulent;
(iii) The application presents prima facie evidence of each eligibility requirement for T–1 nonimmigrant status;
(iv) Biometrics and background checks are complete; and
(v) The applicant is:
(A) Admissible to the United States; or
(B) Inadmissible to the United States based on a ground that may be waived (other than section 212(a)(4) of the Act); and either the applicant has filed a waiver of a ground of inadmissibility described in section 212(d)(13) of the Act concurrently with the application for T nonimmigrant status, or USCIS has already granted a waiver with respect to any ground of inadmissibility that applies to the applicant. USCIS may request further evidence from the applicant. All waivers are discretionary and require a request for waiver, on the form designated by USCIS.
(2) USCIS determination. An application will not be treated as bona fide until USCIS provides notice to the applicant.
(i) Incomplete or insufficient application. If an application is incomplete or if an application is complete but does not present sufficient evidence to establish prima facie eligibility for each eligibility requirement for T–1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS may request additional information, issue a notice of intent to deny as provided in 8 CFR 103.2(b)(8), or may adjudicate the application on the basis of the evidence presented under the procedures of this section.
(ii) Notice. Once USCIS determines an application is bona fide, USCIS will notify the applicant. An application will be treated as a bona fide application as of the date of the notice.
(3) Stay of final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion. If USCIS determines that an application is bona fide it automatically stays the execution of any final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion. This administrative stay will remain in effect until any adverse decision becomes final. The filing of an application for T nonimmigrant status does not automatically stay the execution of a final order unless USCIS has determined that the application is bona fide. Neither an immigration judge nor the Board has jurisdiction to adjudicate an application for a stay of removal, deportation, or exclusion on the basis of the filing of an application for T nonimmigrant status.
(f) Victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. To be eligible for T–1 nonimmigrant status an applicant must meet the definition of a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons described in paragraph (a) of this section.
(1) Evidence. The applicant must submit evidence that demonstrates that he or she is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. Except in instances of sex trafficking involving victims under 18 years of age, severe forms of trafficking in persons must involve both a particular means (force, fraud, or coercion) and a particular end or a particular intended end (sex trafficking, involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery). If a victim has not performed labor or services, or a commercial sex act, the victim must establish that he or she was recruited, transported, harbored, provided, or obtained for the purposes of subjection to sex trafficking, involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery, or patronized or solicited for the purposes of subjection to sex trafficking. The applicant may satisfy this requirement by submitting:
(i) An LEA endorsement as described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section;
(ii) Documentation of a grant of Continued Presence under 28 CFR 1100.35; or
(iii) Any other evidence, including but not limited to, trial transcripts, court documents, police reports, news articles, copies of reimbursement forms for travel to and from court, and/or affidavits. In the victim's statement prescribed by paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the applicant should describe what the alien has done to report the crime to an LEA and indicate whether criminal records relating to the trafficking crime are available.
(2) If the Continued Presence has been revoked or the contents of the LEA endorsement have been disavowed based on a determination that the applicant is not or was not a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, it will no longer be considered as evidence.
(g) Physical presence. To be eligible for T–1 nonimmigrant status an applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, or at a port-of-entry thereto on account of such trafficking.
(1) Applicability. The physical presence requirement requires USCIS to consider the alien's presence in the United States at the time of application. The requirement reaches an alien who:
(i) Is present because he or she is currently being subjected to a severe form of trafficking in persons;
(ii) Was liberated from a severe form of trafficking in persons by an LEA;
(iii) Escaped a severe form of trafficking in persons before an LEA was involved, subject to paragraph (g)(2) of this section;
(iv) Was subject to a severe form of trafficking in persons at some point in the past and whose continuing presence in the United States is directly related to the original trafficking in persons; or
(v) Is present on account of the alien having been allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or perpetrator of trafficking.
(2) Departure from the United States. An alien who has voluntarily departed from (or has been removed from) the United States at any time after the act of a severe form of trafficking in persons is deemed not to be present in the United States as a result of such trafficking in persons unless:
(i) The alien's reentry into the United States was the result of the continued victimization of the alien;
(ii) The alien is a victim of a new incident of a severe form of trafficking in persons; or
(iii) The alien has been allowed reentry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or perpetrator of trafficking, described in paragraph (g)(4) of this section.
(3) Presence for participation in investigative or judicial processes. An alien who was allowed initial entry or reentry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or perpetrator of trafficking will be deemed to be physically present in the United States on account of trafficking in persons, regardless of where such trafficking occurred. To satisfy this section, an alien must submit documentation to show valid entry into the United States and evidence that this valid entry is for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or perpetrator of trafficking.
(4) Evidence. The applicant must submit evidence that demonstrates that his or her physical presence in the United States or at a port-of-entry thereto, is on account of trafficking in persons, including physical presence on account of the alien having been allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or a perpetrator of trafficking. USCIS will consider all evidence presented to determine the physical presence requirement, including the alien's responses to questions on the application for T nonimmigrant status about when he or she escaped from the trafficker, what activities he or she has undertaken since that time including the steps he or she may have taken to deal with the consequences of having been trafficked, and the applicant's ability to leave the United States. The applicant may satisfy this requirement by submitting:
(i) An LEA endorsement, described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section;
(ii) Documentation of a grant of Continued Presence under 28 CFR 1100.35;
(iii) Any other documentation of entry into the United States or permission to remain in the United States, such as parole under section 212(d)(5) of the Act, or a notation that such evidence is contained in the applicant's immigration file; or
(iv) Any other credible evidence, including a personal statement from the applicant, stating the date and place (if known) and the manner and purpose (if known) for which the applicant entered the United States and demonstrating that the applicant is now present on account of the trafficking.
(h) Compliance with any reasonable request for assistance in an investigation or prosecution. To be eligible for T–1 nonimmigrant status, an applicant must have complied with any reasonable request for assistance from an LEA in an investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking or the investigation of a crime where acts of trafficking are at least one central reason for the commission of that crime, unless the applicant meets an exemption described in paragraph (h)(4) of this section.
(1) Applicability. An applicant must have had, at a minimum, contact with an LEA regarding the acts of a severe form of trafficking in persons. An applicant who has never had contact with an LEA regarding the acts of a severe form of trafficking in persons will not be eligible for T–1 nonimmigrant status, unless he or she meets an exemption described in paragraph (h)(4) of this section.
(2) Unreasonable requests. An applicant need only show compliance with reasonable requests made by an LEA for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of the acts of trafficking in persons. The reasonableness of the request depends on the totality of the circumstances. Factors to consider include, but are not limited to:
(i) General law enforcement and prosecutorial practices;
(ii) The nature of the victimization;
(iii) The specific circumstances of the victim;
(iv) Severity of trauma suffered (both mental and physical) or whether the request would cause further trauma;
(v) Access to support services;
(vi) The safety of the victim or the victim's family;
(vii) Compliance with previous requests and the extent of such compliance;
(viii) Whether the request would yield essential information;
(ix) Whether the information could be obtained without the victim's compliance;
(x) Whether an interpreter or attorney was present to help the victim understand the request;
(xi) Cultural, religious, or moral objections to the request;
(xii) The time the victim had to comply with the request; and
(xiii) The age and maturity of the victim.
(3) Evidence. An applicant must submit evidence that demonstrates that he or she has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in a Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of trafficking in persons, or a crime where trafficking in persons is at least one central reason for the commission of that crime. In the alternative, an applicant can submit evidence to demonstrate that he or she should be exempt under paragraph (h)(4) of this section. If USCIS has any question about whether the applicant has complied with a reasonable request for assistance, USCIS may contact the LEA. The applicant may satisfy this requirement by submitting any of the following:
(i) An LEA endorsement as described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section;
(ii) Documentation of a grant of Continued Presence under 28 CFR 1100.35; or
(iii) Any other evidence, including affidavits of witnesses. In the victim's statement prescribed by paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the applicant should show that an LEA that has responsibility and authority for the detection, investigation, or prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons has information about such trafficking in persons, that the victim has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of such acts of trafficking, and, if the victim did not report the crime, why the crime was not previously reported.
(4) An applicant who has not had contact with an LEA or who has not complied with any reasonable request may be exempt from the requirement to comply with any reasonable request for assistance in an investigation or prosecution if either of the following two circumstances applies:
(i) Trauma. The applicant is unable to cooperate with a reasonable request for assistance in the Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking in persons due to physical or psychological trauma. An applicant must submit evidence of the trauma. An applicant may satisfy this by submitting an affirmative statement describing the trauma and any other credible evidence. “Any other credible evidence” includes, for instance, a signed statement from a qualified professional, such as a medical professional, social worker, or victim advocate, who attests to the victim's mental state, and medical, psychological, or other records which are relevant to the trauma. USCIS reserves the authority and discretion to contact the LEA involved in the case, if appropriate; or
(ii) Age. The applicant is under 18 years of age. An applicant under 18 years of age is exempt from the requirement to comply with any reasonable request for assistance in an investigation or prosecution, but he or she must submit evidence of age. Applicants should include, where available, an official copy of the alien's birth certificate, a passport, or a certified medical opinion. Other evidence regarding the age of the applicant may be submitted in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(2)(i).
(i) Extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm. To be eligible for T–1 nonimmigrant status, an applicant must demonstrate that removal from the United States would subject the applicant to extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm.
(1) Standard. Extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm is a higher standard than extreme hardship as described in 8 CFR 240.58. A finding of extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm may not be based solely upon current or future economic detriment, or the lack of, or disruption to, social or economic opportunities. The determination of extreme hardship is made solely by USCIS.
(2) Factors. Factors that may be considered in evaluating whether removal would result in extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm should include both traditional extreme hardship factors and factors associated with having been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons. These factors include, but are not limited to:
(i) The age, maturity, and personal circumstances of the applicant;
(ii) Any physical or psychological issues the applicant has which necessitates medical or psychological care not reasonably available in the foreign country;
(iii) The nature and extent of the physical and psychological consequences of having been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons;
(iv) The impact of the loss of access to the United States courts and the criminal justice system for purposes relating to the incident of a severe form of trafficking in persons or other crimes perpetrated against the applicant, including criminal and civil redress for acts of trafficking in persons, criminal prosecution, restitution, and protection;
(v) The reasonable expectation that the existence of laws, social practices, or customs in the foreign country to which the applicant would be returned would penalize the applicant severely for having been the victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons;
(vi) The likelihood of re-victimization and the need, ability, and willingness of foreign authorities to protect the applicant;
(vii) The likelihood of harm that the trafficker in persons or others acting on behalf of the trafficker in the foreign country would cause the applicant; or
(viii) The likelihood that the applicant's individual safety would be threatened by the existence of civil unrest or armed conflict.
(3) Evidence. An applicant must submit evidence that demonstrates he or she would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States. An applicant is encouraged to describe and document all factors that may be relevant to the case, as there is no guarantee that a particular reason(s) will satisfy the requirement. Hardship to persons other than the alien victim cannot be considered in determining whether an applicant would suffer the requisite hardship. The applicant may satisfy this requirement by submitting any credible evidence regarding the nature and scope of the hardship if the applicant was removed from the United States, including evidence of hardship arising from circumstances surrounding the victimization and any other circumstances. An applicant may submit a personal statement or other evidence, including evidence from relevant country condition reports and any other public or private sources of information.
(j) Annual cap. In accordance with section 214(o)(2) of the Act, DHS may not grant T–1 nonimmigrant status to more than 5,000 aliens in any fiscal year.
(1) Waiting list. All eligible applicants who, due solely to the cap, are not granted T–1 nonimmigrant status will be placed on a waiting list and will receive written notice of such placement. Priority on the waiting list will be determined by the date the application was properly filed, with the oldest applications receiving the highest priority. In the next fiscal year, USCIS will issue a number to each application on the waiting list, in the order of the highest priority, providing the applicant remains admissible and eligible for T nonimmigrant status. After T–1 nonimmigrant status has been issued to qualifying applicants on the waiting list, any remaining T–1 nonimmigrant numbers for that fiscal year will be issued to new qualifying applicants in the order that the applications were properly filed.
(2) Unlawful presence. While an applicant for T nonimmigrant status who was granted deferred action or parole is on the waiting list, the applicant will not accrue unlawful presence under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the Act while maintaining parole or deferred action.
(3) Removal from the waiting list. An applicant may be removed from the waiting list and the deferred action or parole may be terminated consistent with law and policy. Applicants on the waiting list must remain admissible to the United States and otherwise eligible for T nonimmigrant status. If at any time prior to final adjudication USCIS receives information that an applicant is no longer eligible for nonimmigrant status, the applicant may be removed from the waiting list and the deferred action or parole may be terminated. USCIS will provide notice to the applicant of that decision.
(k) Application for eligible family members.
(1) Eligibility. Subject to section 214(o) of the Act, an alien who has applied for or has been granted T–1 nonimmigrant status (principal alien) may apply for the admission of an eligible family member, who is otherwise admissible to the United States, in derivative T nonimmigrant status if accompanying or following to join the principal alien.
(i) Principal alien 21 years of age or older. For a principal alien who is 21 years of age or over, eligible family member means a T–2 (spouse) or T–3 (child).
(ii) Principal alien under 21 years of age. For a principal alien who is under 21 years of age, eligible family member means a T–2 (spouse), T–3 (child), T–4 (parent), or T–5 (unmarried sibling under the age of 18).
(iii) Family member facing danger of retaliation. Regardless of the age of the principal alien, if the eligible family member faces a present danger of retaliation as a result of the principal alien's escape from the severe form of trafficking or cooperation with law enforcement, in consultation with the law enforcement officer investigating a severe form of trafficking, eligible family member means a T–4 (parent), T–5 (unmarried sibling under the age of 18), or T–6 (adult or minor child of a derivative of the principal alien).
(iv) Admission requirements. The principal applicant must demonstrate that the alien for whom derivative T nonimmigrant status is being sought is an eligible family member of the T–1 principal alien, as defined in paragraph (a) of this section, and is otherwise eligible for that status.
(2) Application. A T–1 principal alien may submit an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status on the form designated by USCIS in accordance with the form instructions. The application for derivative T nonimmigrant status for an eligible family member may be filed with the T–1 application, or separately. Derivative T nonimmigrant status is dependent on the principal alien having been granted T–1 nonimmigrant status and the principal alien maintaining T–1 nonimmigrant status. If a principal alien granted T–1 nonimmigrant status cannot maintain status due to his or her death, the provisions of section 204(l) of the Act may apply.
(i) Eligible family members in pending immigration proceedings. If an eligible family member is in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, or in exclusion or deportation proceedings under former sections 236 or 242 of the Act (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997), the principal alien must file an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status directly with USCIS. In its discretion and at the request of the eligible family member, ICE may agree to file a joint motion to administratively close or terminate proceedings without prejudice with the immigration judge or the Board, whichever is appropriate, while USCIS adjudicates an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status.
(ii) Eligible family members with final orders of removal, deportation, or exclusion. If an eligible family member is the subject of a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion, the principal alien may file an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status directly with USCIS. The filing of an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status has no effect on ICE's authority or discretion to execute a final order, although the alien may file a request for an administrative stay of removal pursuant to 8 CFR 241.6(a). If the eligible family member is in detention pending execution of the final order, the period of detention (under the standards of 8 CFR 241.4) will be extended while a stay is in effect for the period reasonably necessary to bring about the applicant's removal.
(3) Required supporting evidence. In addition to the form, an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status must include the following:
(i) Biometrics submitted in accordance with 8 CFR 103.16;
(ii) Evidence demonstrating the relationship of an eligible family member, as provided in paragraph (k)(4) of this section;
(iii) In the case of an alien seeking derivative T nonimmigrant status on the basis of danger of retaliation, evidence demonstrating this danger as provided in paragraph (k)(6) of this section.
(iv) Inadmissible applicants. If an eligible family member is inadmissible based on a ground that may be waived, a request for a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(d)(13) or section 212(d)(3) of the Act must be filed in accordance with 8 CFR 212.16 and submitted with the completed application package.
(4) Relationship. Except as described in paragraphs (k)(5) of this section, the family relationship must exist at the time:
(i) The application for the T–1 nonimmigrant status is filed;
(ii) The application for the T–1 nonimmigrant status is adjudicated;
(iii) The application for derivative T nonimmigrant status is filed;
(iv) The application for derivative T nonimmigrant status is adjudicated; and
(v) The eligible family member is admitted to the United States if residing abroad.
(5) Relationship and age-out protections.
(i) Protection for new child of a principal alien. If the T–1 principal alien proves that he or she had a child after filing the application for T–1 nonimmigrant status, the child will be deemed to be an eligible family member eligible to accompany or follow to join the T–1 principal alien.
(ii) Age-out protection for eligible family members of a principal alien under 21 years of age. If the T–1 principal alien was under 21 years of age when he or she filed for T–1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS will continue to consider a parent or unmarried sibling as an eligible family member. A parent or unmarried sibling will remain eligible even if the principal alien turns 21 years of age before adjudication of the T–1 application. An unmarried sibling will remain eligible even if the unmarried sibling is over 18 years of age at the time of adjudication of the T–1 application, so long as the unmarried sibling was under 18 years of age at the time of the T–1 application. The age of an unmarried sibling when USCIS adjudicates the T–1 application, when the unmarried sibling files the derivative application, when USCIS adjudicates the derivative application, or when the unmarried sibling is admitted to the United States does not affect eligibility.
(iii) Age-out protection for child of a principal alien 21 years of age or older. If a T–1 principal alien was 21 years of age or older when he or she filed for T–1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS will continue to consider a child as an eligible family member if the child was under 21 years of age at the time the principal filed for T–1 nonimmigrant status. The child will remain eligible even if the child is over 21 years of age at the time of adjudication of the T–1 application. The age of the child when USCIS adjudicates the T–1 application, when the child files the derivative application, when USCIS adjudicates the derivative application, or when the child is admitted to the United States does not affect eligibility.
(iv) Marriage of an eligible family member. An eligible family member seeking T–3 or T–5 status must be unmarried when the principal files an application for T–1 status, when USCIS adjudicates the T–1 application, when the eligible family member files for T–3 or T–5 status, when USCIS adjudicates the T–3 or T–5 application, and when the family member is admitted to the United States. If a T–1 marries subsequent to filing the application for T–1 status, USCIS will not consider the spouse eligible as a T–2 eligible family member.
(6) Evidence demonstrating a present danger of retaliation. An alien seeking derivative T nonimmigrant status on the basis of facing a present danger of retaliation as a result of the T–1 victim's escape from a severe form of trafficking or cooperation with law enforcement, must demonstrate the basis of this danger. USCIS may contact the LEA involved, if appropriate. An applicant may satisfy this requirement by submitting:
(i) Documentation of a previous grant of advance parole to an eligible family member;
(ii) A signed statement from a law enforcement official describing the danger of retaliation;
(iii) An affirmative statement from the applicant describing the danger the family member faces and how the danger is linked to the victim's escape or cooperation with law enforcement (ordinarily an applicant's statement alone is not sufficient to prove present danger); and/or
(iv) Any other credible evidence, including trial transcripts, court documents, police reports, news articles, copies of reimbursement forms for travel to and from court, and affidavits from other witnesses.
(7) Biometric collection; evidentiary standards. The provisions for biometric capture and evidentiary standards described in paragraph (d)(2) and (d)(4) of this section apply to an eligible family member's application for derivative T nonimmigrant status.
(8) Review and decision. USCIS will review the application and issue a decision in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.
(9) Derivative approvals. Aliens whose applications for derivative T nonimmigrant status are approved are not subject to the annual cap described in paragraph (j) of this section. USCIS will not approve applications for derivative T nonimmigrant status until USCIS has approved T–1 nonimmigrant status to the related principal alien.
(i) Approvals for eligible family members in the United States. When USCIS approves an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status for an eligible family member in the United States, USCIS will concurrently approve derivative T nonimmigrant status. USCIS will notify the T–1 principal alien of such approval and provide evidence of derivative T nonimmigrant status to the derivative.
(ii) Approvals for eligible family members outside the United States. When USCIS approves an application for an eligible family member outside the United States, USCIS will notify the T–1 principal alien of such approval and provide the necessary documentation to the Department of State for consideration of visa issuance.
(10) Employment authorization. An alien granted derivative T nonimmigrant status may apply for employment authorization by filing an application on the form designated by USCIS with the fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) in accordance with form instructions. For derivatives in the United States, the application may be filed concurrently with the application for derivative T nonimmigrant status or at any later time. For derivatives outside the United States, an application for employment authorization may only be filed after admission to the United States in T nonimmigrant status. If the application for employment authorization is approved, the derivative alien will be granted employment authorization pursuant to 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(25) for the period remaining in derivative T nonimmigrant status.
(l) Extension of T nonimmigrant status.
(1) Eligibility. USCIS may grant extensions of T–1 nonimmigrant status beyond 4 years from the date of approval in 1–year periods from the date the T–1 nonimmigrant status ends if:
(i) An LEA investigating or prosecuting activity related to human trafficking certifies that the presence of the alien in the United States is necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of such activity;
(ii) The Secretary of Homeland Security determines that an extension is warranted due to exceptional circumstances; or
(iii) The alien has a pending application for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident.
(2) Application for a discretionary extension of status. Upon application, USCIS may extend T–1 nonimmigrant status based on law enforcement need or exceptional circumstances. A T–1 nonimmigrant may apply for an extension by submitting the form designated by USCIS with the prescribed fee and in accordance with form instructions. A T–1 nonimmigrant should indicate on the application whether USCIS should apply the extension to any family member holding derivative T nonimmigrant status.
(3) Timely filing. An alien should file the application to extend nonimmigrant status before the expiration of T–1 nonimmigrant status. If T–1 nonimmigrant status has expired, the applicant must explain in writing the reason for the untimely filing. USCIS may exercise its discretion to approve an untimely filed application for extension of T nonimmigrant status.
(4) Evidence. In addition to the application, a T–1 nonimmigrant must include evidence to support why USCIS should grant an extension of T nonimmigrant status. The nonimmigrant bears the burden of establishing eligibility for an extension of status.
(5) Evidence of law enforcement need. An applicant may demonstrate law enforcement need by submitting evidence that comes directly from an LEA, including:
(i) A new LEA endorsement;
(ii) Evidence from a law enforcement official, prosecutor, judge, or other authority who can investigate or prosecute human trafficking activity, such as a letter on the agency's letterhead, email, or fax; or
(iii) Any other credible evidence.
(6) Evidence of exceptional circumstances. An applicant may demonstrate exceptional circumstances by submitting:
(i) The applicant's affirmative statement; or
(ii) Any other credible evidence, including medical records, police or court records, news articles, correspondence with an embassy or consulate, and affidavits of witnesses.
(7) Mandatory extensions of status for adjustment of status applicants. USCIS will automatically extend T–1 nonimmigrant status when a T nonimmigrant properly files an application for adjustment of status in accordance with 8 CFR 245.23. No separate application for extension of T nonimmigrant status, or supporting evidence, is required.
(m) Revocation of approved T nonimmigrant status.
(1) Automatic revocation of derivative status. An approved application for derivative T nonimmigrant status will be revoked automatically if the beneficiary of the approved derivative application notifies USCIS that he or she will not apply for admission to the United States.
(2) Revocation on notice/grounds for revocation. USCIS may revoke an approved application for T nonimmigrant status following issuance of a notice of intent to revoke. USCIS may revoke an approved application for T nonimmigrant status based on one or more of the following reasons:
(i) The approval of the application violated the requirements of section 101(a)(15)(T) of the Act or 8 CFR 214.11 or involved error in preparation, procedure, or adjudication that affects the outcome;
(ii) In the case of a T–2 spouse, the alien's divorce from the T–1 principal alien has become final;
(iii) In the case of a T–1 principal alien, an LEA with jurisdiction to detect or investigate the acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons notifies USCIS that the alien has refused to comply with reasonable requests to assist with the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking in persons and provides USCIS with a detailed explanation in writing; or
(iv) The LEA that signed the LEA endorsement withdraws it or disavows its contents and notifies USCIS and provides a detailed explanation of its reasoning in writing.
(3) Procedures. Procedures for revocation and appeal follow 8 CFR 103.3. If USCIS revokes approval of the previously granted T nonimmigrant status application, USCIS may notify the LEA who signed the LEA endorsement, any consular officer having jurisdiction over the applicant, or the Office of Refugee Resettlement of the Department of Health and Human Services.
(4) Effect of revocation. Revocation of a principal alien's application for T–1 nonimmigrant status will result in termination of T–1 status for the principal alien and, consequently, the automatic termination of the derivative T nonimmigrant status for all derivatives. If a derivative application is pending at the time of revocation, it will be denied. Revocation of an approved application for T–1 nonimmigrant status or an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status also revokes any waiver of inadmissibility granted in conjunction with such application. The revocation of an alien's T–1 status will have no effect on the annual cap described in paragraph (j) of this section.
(n) Removal proceedings. Nothing in this section prohibits DHS from instituting removal proceedings for conduct committed after admission, or for conduct or a condition that was not disclosed prior to the granting of T nonimmigrant status, including misrepresentations of material facts in the application for T–1 nonimmigrant status or in an application for derivative T nonimmigrant status, or after revocation of T nonimmigrant status.
(o) USCIS employee referral. Any USCIS employee who, while carrying out his or her official duties, comes into contact with an alien believed to be a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons and is not already working with an LEA should consult, as necessary, with the ICE officials responsible for victim protection, trafficking investigations and prevention, and deterrence. The ICE office may, in turn, refer the victim to another LEA with responsibility for investigating or prosecuting severe forms of trafficking in persons. If the alien has a credible claim to victimization, USCIS may advise the alien that he or she can submit an application for T nonimmigrant status and seek any other benefit or protection for which he or she may be eligible, provided doing so would not compromise the alien's safety.
(p) Restrictions on use and disclosure of information relating to applicants for T nonimmigrant classification.
(1) The use or disclosure (other than to a sworn officer or employee of DHS, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, or a bureau or agency of any of those departments, for legitimate department, bureau, or agency purposes) of any information relating to the beneficiary of a pending or approved application for T nonimmigrant status is prohibited unless the disclosure is made in accordance with an exception described in 8 U.S.C. 1367(b).
(2) Information protected under 8 U.S.C. 1367(a)(2) may be disclosed to federal prosecutors to comply with constitutional obligations to provide statements by witnesses and certain other documents to defendants in pending federal criminal proceedings.
(3) Agencies receiving information under this section, whether governmental or non-governmental, are bound by the confidentiality provisions and other restrictions set out in 8 U.S.C. 1367.
(4) DHS officials are prohibited from making adverse determinations of admissibility or deportability based on information obtained solely from the trafficker, unless the alien has been convicted of a crime or crimes listed in section 237(a)(2) of the Act.

8 CFR § 214.14- Alien victims of certain qualifying criminal activity

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 214.14 Alien victims of certain qualifying criminal activity.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the term:

(1) BIWPA means Battered Immigrant Women Protection Act of 2000 of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, div. B, Violence Against Women Act of 2000, tit. V, Pub.L. 106–386, 114 Stat. 1464, (2000), amended by Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005, tit. VIII, Pub.L. 109–162, 119 Stat. 2960 (2006), amended by Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act--Technical Corrections, Pub.L. 109–271, 120 Stat. 750 (2006).

(2) Certifying agency means a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, prosecutor, judge, or other authority, that has responsibility for the investigation or prosecution of a qualifying crime or criminal activity. This definition includes agencies that have criminal investigative jurisdiction in their respective areas of expertise, including, but not limited to, child protective services, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Labor.

(3) Certifying official means:

(i) The head of the certifying agency, or any person(s) in a supervisory role who has been specifically designated by the head of the certifying agency to issue U nonimmigrant status certifications on behalf of that agency; or

(ii) A Federal, State, or local judge.

(4) Indian Country is defined as:

(i) All land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and including rights-of-way running through the reservation;

(ii) All dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a state; and

(iii) All Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through such allotments.

(5) Investigation or prosecution refers to the detection or investigation of a qualifying crime or criminal activity, as well as to the prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of the perpetrator of the qualifying crime or criminal activity.

(6) Military Installation means any facility, base, camp, post, encampment, station, yard, center, port, aircraft, vehicle, or vessel under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense, including any leased facility, or any other location under military control.

(7) Next friend means a person who appears in a lawsuit to act for the benefit of an alien under the age of 16 or incapacitated or incompetent, who has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of qualifying criminal activity. The next friend is not a party to the legal proceeding and is not appointed as a guardian.

(8) Physical or mental abuse means injury or harm to the victim's physical person, or harm to or impairment of the emotional or psychological soundness of the victim.

(9) Qualifying crime or qualifying criminal activity includes one or more of the following or any similar activities in violation of Federal, State or local criminal law of the United States: Rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; prostitution; sexual exploitation; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes. The term “any similar activity” refers to criminal offenses in which the nature and elements of the offenses are substantially similar to the statutorily enumerated list of criminal activities.

(10) Qualifying family member means, in the case of an alien victim 21 years of age or older who is eligible for U nonimmigrant status as described in section 101(a)(15)(U) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(U), the spouse or child(ren) of such alien; and, in the case of an alien victim under the age of 21 who is eligible for U nonimmigrant status as described in section 101(a)(15)(U) of the Act, qualifying family member means the spouse, child(ren), parents, or unmarried siblings under the age of 18 of such an alien.

(11) Territories and Possessions of the United States means American Samoa, Swains Island, Bajo Nuevo (the Petrel Islands), Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Navassa Island, Palmyra Atoll, Serranilla Bank, and Wake Atoll.

(12) U nonimmigrant status certification means Form I–918, Supplement B, “U Nonimmigrant Status Certification,” which confirms that the petitioner has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity of which he or she is a victim.

(13) U interim relief refers to the interim benefits that were provided by USCIS to petitioners for U nonimmigrant status, who requested such benefits and who were deemed prima facie eligible for U nonimmigrant status prior to the publication of the implementing regulations.

(14) Victim of qualifying criminal activity generally means an alien who has suffered direct and proximate harm as a result of the commission of qualifying criminal activity.

(i) The alien spouse, children under 21 years of age and, if the direct victim is under 21 years of age, parents and unmarried siblings under 18 years of age, will be considered victims of qualifying criminal activity where the direct victim is deceased due to murder or manslaughter, or is incompetent or incapacitated, and therefore unable to provide information concerning the criminal activity or be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. For purposes of determining eligibility under this definition, USCIS will consider the age of the victim at the time the qualifying criminal activity occurred.

(ii) A petitioner may be considered a victim of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or perjury, including any attempt, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit one or more of those offenses, if:

(A) The petitioner has been directly and proximately harmed by the perpetrator of the witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or perjury; and

(B) There are reasonable grounds to conclude that the perpetrator committed the witness tampering, obstruction of justice, or perjury offense, at least in principal part, as a means:

(1) To avoid or frustrate efforts to investigate, arrest, prosecute, or otherwise bring to justice the perpetrator for other criminal activity; or

(2) To further the perpetrator's abuse or exploitation of or undue control over the petitioner through manipulation of the legal system.

(iii) A person who is culpable for the qualifying criminal activity being investigated or prosecuted is excluded from being recognized as a victim of qualifying criminal activity.

(b) Eligibility. An alien is eligible for U–1 nonimmigrant status if he or she demonstrates all of the following in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section:

(1) The alien has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of qualifying criminal activity. Whether abuse is substantial is based on a number of factors, including but not limited to: The nature of the injury inflicted or suffered; the severity of the perpetrator's conduct; the severity of the harm suffered; the duration of the infliction of the harm; and the extent to which there is permanent or serious harm to the appearance, health, or physical or mental soundness of the victim, including aggravation of pre-existing conditions. No single factor is a prerequisite to establish that the abuse suffered was substantial. Also, the existence of one or more of the factors automatically does not create a presumption that the abuse suffered was substantial. A series of acts taken together may be considered to constitute substantial physical or mental abuse even where no single act alone rises to that level;

(2) The alien possesses credible and reliable information establishing that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity upon which his or her petition is based. The alien must possess specific facts regarding the criminal activity leading a certifying official to determine that the petitioner has, is, or is likely to provide assistance to the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity. In the event that the alien has not yet reached 16 years of age on the date on which an act constituting an element of the qualifying criminal activity first occurred, a parent, guardian or next friend of the alien may possess the information regarding a qualifying crime. In addition, if the alien is incapacitated or incompetent, a parent, guardian, or next friend may possess the information regarding the qualifying crime;

(3) The alien has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a certifying agency in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity upon which his or her petition is based, and since the initiation of cooperation, has not refused or failed to provide information and assistance reasonably requested. In the event that the alien has not yet reached 16 years of age on the date on which an act constituting an element of the qualifying criminal activity first occurred, a parent, guardian or next friend of the alien may provide the required assistance. In addition, if the petitioner is incapacitated or incompetent and, therefore, unable to be helpful in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity, a parent, guardian, or next friend may provide the required assistance; and

(4) The qualifying criminal activity occurred in the United States (including Indian country and U.S. military installations) or in the territories or possessions of the United States, or violated a U.S. federal law that provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction to prosecute the offense in a U.S. federal court.

(c) Application procedures for U nonimmigrant status--

(1) Filing a petition. USCIS has sole jurisdiction over all petitions for U nonimmigrant status. An alien seeking U–1 nonimmigrant status must submit, by mail, Form I–918, “Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status,” applicable biometric fee (or request for a fee waiver as provided in 8 CFR 103.7(c)), and initial evidence to USCIS in accordance with this paragraph and the instructions to Form I–918. A petitioner who received interim relief is not required to submit initial evidence with Form I–918 if he or she wishes to rely on the law enforcement certification and other evidence that was submitted with the request for interim relief.

(i) Petitioners in pending immigration proceedings. An alien who is in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1229a, or in exclusion or deportation proceedings initiated under former sections 236 or 242 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1226 and 1252 (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997), and who would like to apply for U nonimmigrant status must file a Form I–918 directly with USCIS. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) counsel may agree, as a matter of discretion, to file, at the request of the alien petitioner, a joint motion to terminate proceedings without prejudice with the immigration judge or Board of Immigration Appeals, whichever is appropriate, while a petition for U nonimmigrant status is being adjudicated by USCIS.

(ii) Petitioners with final orders of removal, deportation, or exclusion. An alien who is the subject of a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion is not precluded from filing a petition for U–1 nonimmigrant status directly with USCIS. The filing of a petition for U–1 nonimmigrant status has no effect on ICE's authority to execute a final order, although the alien may file a request for a stay of removal pursuant to 8 CFR 241.6(a) and 8 CFR 1241.6(a). If the alien is in detention pending execution of the final order, the time during which a stay is in effect will extend the period of detention (under the standards of 8 CFR 241.4) reasonably necessary to bring about the petitioner's removal.

(2) Initial evidence. Form I–918 must include the following initial evidence:

(i) Form I–918, Supplement B, “U Nonimmigrant Status Certification,” signed by a certifying official within the six months immediately preceding the filing of Form I–918. The certification must state that: the person signing the certificate is the head of the certifying agency, or any person(s) in a supervisory role who has been specifically designated by the head of the certifying agency to issue U nonimmigrant status certifications on behalf of that agency, or is a Federal, State, or local judge; the agency is a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, or prosecutor, judge or other authority, that has responsibility for the detection, investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of qualifying criminal activity; the applicant has been a victim of qualifying criminal activity that the certifying official's agency is investigating or prosecuting; the petitioner possesses information concerning the qualifying criminal activity of which he or she has been a victim; the petitioner has been, is being, or is likely to be helpful to an investigation or prosecution of that qualifying criminal activity; and the qualifying criminal activity violated U.S. law, or occurred in the United States, its territories, its possessions, Indian country, or at military installations abroad.

(ii) Any additional evidence that the petitioner wants USCIS to consider to establish that: the petitioner is a victim of qualifying criminal activity; the petitioner has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of being a victim of qualifying criminal activity; the petitioner (or, in the case of a child under the age of 16 or petitioner who is incompetent or incapacitated, a parent, guardian or next friend of the petitioner) possesses information establishing that he or she has knowledge of the details concerning the qualifying criminal activity of which he or she was a victim and upon which his or her application is based; the petitioner (or, in the case of a child under the age of 16 or petitioner who is incompetent or incapacitated, a parent, guardian or next friend of the petitioner) has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a Federal, State, or local law enforcement agency, prosecutor, or authority, or Federal or State judge, investigating or prosecuting the criminal activity of which the petitioner is a victim; or the criminal activity is qualifying and occurred in the United States (including Indian country and U.S. military installations) or in the territories or possessions of the United States, or violates a U.S. federal law that provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction to prosecute the offense in a U.S. federal court;

(iii) A signed statement by the petitioner describing the facts of the victimization. The statement also may include information supporting any of the eligibility requirements set out in paragraph (b) of this section. When the petitioner is under the age of 16, incapacitated, or incompetent, a parent, guardian, or next friend may submit a statement on behalf of the petitioner; and

(iv) If the petitioner is inadmissible, Form I–192, “Application for Advance Permission to Enter as Non–Immigrant,” in accordance with 8 CFR 212.17.

(3) Biometric capture. All petitioners for U–1 nonimmigrant status must submit to biometric capture and pay a biometric capture fee. USCIS will notify the petitioner of the proper time and location to appear for biometric capture after the petitioner files Form I–918.

(4) Evidentiary standards and burden of proof. The burden shall be on the petitioner to demonstrate eligibility for U–1 nonimmigrant status. The petitioner may submit any credible evidence relating to his or her Form I–918 for consideration by USCIS. USCIS shall conduct a de novo review of all evidence submitted in connection with Form I–918 and may investigate any aspect of the petition. Evidence previously submitted for this or other immigration benefit or relief may be used by USCIS in evaluating the eligibility of a petitioner for U–1 nonimmigrant status. However, USCIS will not be bound by its previous factual determinations. USCIS will determine, in its sole discretion, the evidentiary value of previously or concurrently submitted evidence, including Form I–918, Supplement B, “U Nonimmigrant Status Certification.”

(5) Decision. After completing its de novo review of the petition and evidence, USCIS will issue a written decision approving or denying Form I–918 and notify the petitioner of this decision. USCIS will include in a decision approving Form I–918 a list of nongovernmental organizations to which the petitioner can refer regarding his or her options while in the United States and available resources.

(i) Approval of Form I–918, generally. If USCIS determines that the petitioner has met the requirements for U–1 nonimmigrant status, USCIS will approve Form I–918. For a petitioner who is within the United States, USCIS also will concurrently grant U–1 nonimmigrant status, subject to the annual limitation as provided in paragraph (d) of this section. For a petitioner who is subject to an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued by the Secretary, the order will be deemed canceled by operation of law as of the date of USCIS' approval of Form I–918. A petitioner who is subject to an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued by an immigration judge or the Board may seek cancellation of such order by filing, with the immigration judge or the Board, a motion to reopen and terminate removal proceedings. ICE counsel may agree, as a matter of discretion, to join such a motion to overcome any applicable time and numerical limitations of 8 CFR 1003.2 and 1003.23.

(A) Notice of Approval of Form I–918 for U–1 petitioners within the United States. After USCIS approves Form I–918 for an alien who filed his or her petition from within the United States, USCIS will notify the alien of such approval on Form I–797, “Notice of Action,” and include Form I–94 (see § 1.4), “Arrival–Departure Record,” indicating U–1 nonimmigrant status.

(B) Notice of Approval of Form I–918 for U–1 petitioners outside the United States. After USCIS approves Form I–918 for an alien who filed his or her petition from outside the United States, USCIS will notify the alien of such approval on Form I–797, “Notice of Action,” and will forward notice to the Department of State for delivery to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the area in which the alien is located, or, for a visa exempt alien, to the appropriate port of entry.

(ii) Denial of Form I–918. USCIS will provide written notification to the petitioner of the reasons for the denial. The petitioner may appeal a denial of Form I–918 to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 103.3. For petitioners who appeal a denial of their Form I–918 to the AAO, the denial will not be deemed administratively final until the AAO issues a decision affirming the denial. Upon USCIS' final denial of a petition for a petitioner who was in removal proceedings that were terminated pursuant to 8 CFR 214.14(c)(1)(i), DHS may file a new Notice to Appear (see section 239 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1229) to place the individual in proceedings again. For petitioners who are subject to an order of removal, deportation, or exclusion and whose order has been stayed, USCIS' denial of the petition will result in the stay being lifted automatically as of the date the denial becomes administratively final.

(6) Petitioners granted U interim relief. Petitioners who were granted U interim relief as defined in paragraph (a)(13) of this section and whose Form I–918 is approved will be accorded U–1 nonimmigrant status as of the date that a request for U interim relief was initially approved.

(7) Employment authorization. An alien granted U–1 nonimmigrant status is employment authorized incident to status. USCIS automatically will issue an initial Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to such aliens who are in the United States. For principal aliens who applied from outside the United States, the initial EAD will not be issued until the petitioner has been admitted to the United States in U nonimmigrant status. After admission, the alien may receive an initial EAD, upon request and submission of a copy of his or her Form I–94, “Arrival–Departure Record,” to the USCIS office having jurisdiction over the adjudication of petitions for U nonimmigrant status. No additional fee is required. An alien granted U–1 nonimmigrant status seeking to renew his or her expiring EAD or replace an EAD that was lost, stolen, or destroyed, must file Form I–765 in accordance with the instructions to the form.

(d) Annual cap on U–1 nonimmigrant status--

(1) General. In accordance with section 214(p)(2) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1184(p)(2), the total number of aliens who may be issued a U–1 nonimmigrant visa or granted U–1 nonimmigrant status may not exceed 10,000 in any fiscal year.

(2) Waiting list. All eligible petitioners who, due solely to the cap, are not granted U–1 nonimmigrant status must be placed on a waiting list and receive written notice of such placement. Priority on the waiting list will be determined by the date the petition was filed with the oldest petitions receiving the highest priority. In the next fiscal year, USCIS will issue a number to each petition on the waiting list, in the order of highest priority, providing the petitioner remains admissible and eligible for U nonimmigrant status. After U–1 nonimmigrant status has been issued to qualifying petitioners on the waiting list, any remaining U–1 nonimmigrant numbers for that fiscal year will be issued to new qualifying petitioners in the order that the petitions were properly filed. USCIS will grant deferred action or parole to U–1 petitioners and qualifying family members while the U–1 petitioners are on the waiting list. USCIS, in its discretion, may authorize employment for such petitioners and qualifying family members.

(3) Unlawful presence. During the time a petitioner for U nonimmigrant status who was granted deferred action or parole is on the waiting list, no accrual of unlawful presence under section 212(a)(9)(B) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(9)(B), will result. However, a petitioner may be removed from the waiting list, and the deferred action or parole may be terminated at the discretion of USCIS.

(e) Restrictions on use and disclosure of information relating to petitioners for U nonimmigrant classification--

(1) General. The use or disclosure (other than to a sworn officer or employee of DHS, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, or a bureau or agency of any of those departments, for legitimate department, bureau, or agency purposes) of any information relating to the beneficiary of a pending or approved petition for U nonimmigrant status is prohibited unless the disclosure is made:

(i) By the Secretary of Homeland Security, at his discretion, in the same manner and circumstances as census information may be disclosed by the Secretary of Commerce under 13 U.S.C. 8;

(ii) By the Secretary of Homeland Security, at his discretion, to law enforcement officials to be used solely for a legitimate law enforcement purpose;

(iii) In conjunction with judicial review of a determination in a manner that protects the confidentiality of such information;

(iv) After adult petitioners for U nonimmigrant status or U nonimmigrant status holders have provided written consent to waive the restrictions prohibiting the release of information;

(v) To Federal, State, and local public and private agencies providing benefits, to be used solely in making determinations of eligibility for benefits pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1641(c);

(vi) After a petition for U nonimmigrant status has been denied in a final decision;

(vii) To the chairmen and ranking members of the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate or the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives, for the exercise of congressional oversight authority, provided the disclosure relates to information about a closed case and is made in a manner that protects the confidentiality of the information and omits personally identifying information (including locational information about individuals);

(viii) With prior written consent from the petitioner or derivative family members, to nonprofit, nongovernmental victims' service providers for the sole purpose of assisting the victim in obtaining victim services from programs with expertise working with immigrant victims; or

(ix) To federal prosecutors to comply with constitutional obligations to provide statements by witnesses and certain other documents to defendants in pending federal criminal proceedings.

(2) Agencies receiving information under this section, whether governmental or non-governmental, are bound by the confidentiality provisions and other restrictions set out in 8 U.S.C. 1367.

(3) Officials of the Department of Homeland Security are prohibited from making adverse determinations of admissibility or deportability based on information obtained solely from the perpetrator of substantial physical or mental abuse and the criminal activity.

(f) Admission of qualifying family members--

(1) Eligibility. An alien who has petitioned for or has been granted U–1 nonimmigrant status (i.e., principal alien) may petition for the admission of a qualifying family member in a U–2 (spouse), U–3 (child), U–4 (parent of a U–1 alien who is a child under 21 years of age), or U–5 (unmarried sibling under the age of 18) derivative status, if accompanying or following to join such principal alien. A qualifying family member who committed the qualifying criminal activity in a family violence or trafficking context which established the principal alien's eligibility for U nonimmigrant status shall not be granted U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status. To be eligible for U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status, it must be demonstrated that:

(i) The alien for whom U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 status is being sought is a qualifying family member, as defined in paragraph (a)(10) of this section; and

(ii) The qualifying family member is admissible to the United States.

(2) Filing procedures. A petitioner for U–1 nonimmigrant status may apply for derivative U nonimmigrant status on behalf of qualifying family members by submitting a Form I–918, Supplement A, “Petition for Qualifying Family Member of U–1 Recipient,” for each family member either at the same time the petition for U–1 nonimmigrant status is filed, or at a later date. An alien who has been granted U–1 nonimmigrant status may apply for derivative U nonimmigrant status on behalf of qualifying family members by submitting Form I–918, Supplement A for each family member. All Forms I–918, Supplement A must be accompanied by initial evidence and the required fees specified in the instructions to the form. Forms I–918, Supplement A that are not filed at the same time as Form I–918 but are filed at a later date must be accompanied by a copy of the Form I–918 that was filed by the principal petitioner or a copy of his or her Form I–94 demonstrating proof of U–1 nonimmigrant status, as applicable.

(i) Qualifying family members in pending immigration proceedings. The principal alien of a qualifying family member who is in removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1229a, or in exclusion or deportation proceedings initiated under former sections 236 or 242 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1226 and 1252 (as in effect prior to April 1, 1997), and who is seeking U nonimmigrant status, must file a Form I–918, Supplement A directly with USCIS. ICE counsel may agree to file, at the request of the qualifying family member, a joint motion to terminate proceedings without prejudice with the immigration judge or Board of Immigration Appeals, whichever is appropriate, while the petition for U nonimmigrant status is being adjudicated by USCIS.

(ii) Qualifying family members with final orders of removal, deportation, or exclusion. An alien who is the subject of a final order of removal, deportation, or exclusion is not precluded from filing a petition for U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status directly with USCIS. The filing of a petition for U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status has no effect on ICE's authority to execute a final order, although the alien may file a request for a stay of removal pursuant to 8 CFR 241.6(a) and 8 CFR 1241.6(a). If the alien is in detention pending execution of the final order, the time during which a stay is in effect will extend the period of detention (under the standards of 8 CFR 241.4) reasonably necessary to bring about the alien's removal.

(3) Initial evidence. Form I–918, Supplement A, must include the following initial evidence:

(i) Evidence demonstrating the relationship of a qualifying family member, as provided in paragraph (f)(4) of this section;

(ii) If the qualifying family member is inadmissible, Form I–192, “Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Non–Immigrant,” in accordance with 8 CFR 212.17.

(4) Relationship. Except as set forth in paragraphs (f)(4)(i) and (ii) of this section, the relationship between the U–1 principal alien and the qualifying family member must exist at the time Form I–918 was filed, and the relationship must continue to exist at the time Form I–918, Supplement A is adjudicated, and at the time of the qualifying family member's subsequent admission to the United States.

(i) If the U–1 principal alien proves that he or she has become the parent of a child after Form I–918 was filed, the child shall be eligible to accompany or follow to join the U–1 principal alien.

(ii) If the principal alien was under 21 years of age at the time he or she filed Form I–918, and filed Form I–918, Supplement A for an unmarried sibling under the age of 18, USCIS will continue to consider such sibling as a qualifying family member for purposes of U nonimmigrant status even if the principal alien is no longer under 21 years of age at the time of adjudication, and even if the sibling is no longer under 18 years of age at the time of adjudication.

(5) Biometric capture and evidentiary standards. The provisions for biometric capture and evidentiary standards in paragraphs (c)(3) and (c)(4) of this section also are applicable to petitions for qualifying family members.

(6) Decision. USCIS will issue a written decision approving or denying Form I–918, Supplement A and send notice of this decision to the U–1 principal petitioner. USCIS will include in a decision approving Form I–918 a list of nongovernmental organizations to which the qualifying family member can refer regarding his or her options while in the United States and available resources. For a qualifying family member who is subject to an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued by the Secretary, the order will be deemed canceled by operation of law as of the date of USCIS' approval of Form I–918, Supplement A. A qualifying family member who is subject to an order of exclusion, deportation, or removal issued by an immigration judge or the Board may seek cancellation of such order by filing, with the immigration judge or the Board, a motion to reopen and terminate removal proceedings. ICE counsel may agree, as a matter of discretion, to join such a motion to overcome any applicable time and numerical limitations of 8 CFR 1003.2 and 1003.23.

(i) Approvals for qualifying family members within the United States. When USCIS approves a Form I–918, Supplement A for a qualifying family member who is within the United States, it will concurrently grant that alien U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status. USCIS will notify the principal of such approval on Form I–797, “Notice of Action,” with Form I–94, “Arrival–Departure Record,” indicating U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status. Aliens who were previously granted U interim relief as defined in paragraph (a)(13) of this section will be accorded U nonimmigrant status as of the date that the request for U interim relief was approved. Aliens who are granted U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status are not subject to an annual numerical limit. USCIS may not approve Form I–918, Supplement A unless it has approved the principal alien's Form I–918.

(ii) Approvals for qualifying family members outside the United States. When USCIS approves Form I–918, Supplement A for a qualifying family member who is outside the United States, USCIS will notify the principal alien of such approval on Form I–797. USCIS will forward the approved Form I–918, Supplement A to the Department of State for delivery to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate having jurisdiction over the area in which the qualifying family member is located, or, for a visa exempt alien, to the appropriate port of entry.

(iii) Denial of the Form I–918, Supplement A. In accordance with 8 CFR 103.3(a)(1), USCIS will provide written notification of the reasons for the denial. The principal alien may appeal the denial of Form I–918, Supplement A to the Administrative Appeals Office in accordance with the provisions of 8 CFR 103.3. Upon USCIS' final denial of Form I–918, Supplement A for a qualifying family member who was in removal proceedings that were terminated pursuant to 8 CFR 214.14(f)(2)(i), DHS may file a new Notice to Appear (see section 239 of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1229) to place the individual in proceedings again. For qualifying family members who are subject to an order of removal, deportation, or exclusion and whose order has been stayed, USCIS' denial of the petition will result in the stay being lifted automatically as of the date the denial becomes administratively final.

(7) Employment authorization. An alien granted U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status is employment authorized incident to status. To obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), such alien must file Form I–765, “Application for Employment Authorization,” with the appropriate fee or a request for a fee waiver, in accordance with the instructions to the form. For qualifying family members within the United States, the Form I–765 may be filed concurrently with Form I–918, Supplement A, or at any time thereafter. For qualifying family members who are outside the United States, Form I–765 only may be filed after admission to the United States in U nonimmigrant status.

(g) Duration of U nonimmigrant status--

(1) In general. U nonimmigrant status may be approved for a period not to exceed 4 years in the aggregate. A qualifying family member granted U–2, U–3, U–4, and U–5 nonimmigrant status will be approved for an initial period that does not exceed the expiration date of the initial period approved for the principal alien.

(2) Extension of status.

(i) Where a U nonimmigrant's approved period of stay on Form I–94 is less than 4 years, he or she may file Form I–539, “Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status,” to request an extension of U nonimmigrant status for an aggregate period not to exceed 4 years. USCIS may approve an extension of status for a qualifying family member beyond the date when the U–1 nonimmigrant's status expires when the qualifying family member is unable to enter the United States timely due to delays in consular processing, and an extension of status is necessary to ensure that the qualifying family member is able to attain at least 3 years in nonimmigrant status for purposes of adjusting status under section 245(m) of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1255.

(ii) Extensions of U nonimmigrant status beyond the 4–year period are available upon attestation by the certifying official that the alien's presence in the United States continues to be necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of qualifying criminal activity. In order to obtain an extension of U nonimmigrant status based upon such an attestation, the alien must file Form I–539 and a newly executed Form I–918, Supplement B in accordance with the instructions to Form I–539.

(h) Revocation of approved petitions for U nonimmigrant status--

(1) Automatic revocation. An approved petition for U–1 nonimmigrant status will be revoked automatically if, pursuant to 8 CFR 214.14(d)(1), the beneficiary of the approved petition notifies the USCIS office that approved the petition that he or she will not apply for admission to the United States and, therefore, the petition will not be used.

(2) Revocation on notice.

(i) USCIS may revoke an approved petition for U nonimmigrant status following a notice of intent to revoke. USCIS may revoke an approved petition for U nonimmigrant status based on one or more of the following reasons:

(A) The certifying official withdraws the U nonimmigrant status certification referred to in 8 CFR 214.14(c)(2)(i) or disavows the contents in writing;

(B) Approval of the petition was in error;

(C) Where there was fraud in the petition;

(D) In the case of a U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant, the relationship to the principal petitioner has terminated; or

(E) In the case of a U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant, the principal U–1's nonimmigrant status is revoked.

(ii) The notice of intent to revoke must be in writing and contain a statement of the grounds for the revocation and the time period allowed for the U nonimmigrant's rebuttal. The alien may submit evidence in rebuttal within 30 days of the date of the notice. USCIS shall consider all relevant evidence presented in deciding whether to revoke the approved petition for U nonimmigrant status. The determination of what is relevant evidence and the weight to be given to that evidence will be within the sole discretion of USCIS. If USCIS revokes approval of a petition and thereby terminates U nonimmigrant status, USCIS will provide the alien with a written notice of revocation that explains the specific reasons for the revocation.

(3) Appeal of a revocation of approval. A revocation on notice may be appealed to the Administrative Appeals Office in accordance with 8 CFR 103.3 within 30 days after the date of the notice of revocation. Automatic revocations may not be appealed.

(4) Effects of revocation of approval. Revocation of a principal alien's approved Form I–918 will result in termination of status for the principal alien, as well as in the denial of any pending Form I–918, Supplement A filed for qualifying family members seeking U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status. Revocation of a qualifying family member's approved Form I–918, Supplement A will result in termination of status for the qualifying family member. Revocation of an approved Form I–918 or Form I–918, Supplement A also revokes any waiver of inadmissibility granted in conjunction with such petition.

(i) Removal proceedings. Nothing in this section prohibits USCIS from instituting removal proceedings under section 240 of the Act, 8 U.S.C. 1229(a), for conduct committed after admission, for conduct or a condition that was not disclosed to USCIS prior to the granting of U nonimmigrant status, for misrepresentations of material facts in Form I–918 or Form I–918, Supplement A and supporting documentation, or after revocation of U nonimmigrant status.

8 CFR § 216.5- Waiver of requirement to file joint petition to remove conditions by alien spouse

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 216.5 Waiver of requirement to file joint petition to remove conditions by alien spouse.

(a) General.

(1) A conditional resident alien who is unable to meet the requirements under section 216 of the Act for a joint petition for removal of the conditional basis of his or her permanent resident status may file Form I–751, Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence, if the alien requests a waiver, was not at fault in failing to meet the filing requirement, and the conditional resident alien is able to establish that:

(i) Deportation or removal from the United States would result in extreme hardship;

(ii) The marriage upon which his or her status was based was entered into in good faith by the conditional resident alien, but the marriage was terminated other than by death, and the conditional resident was not at fault in failing to file a timely petition; or

(iii) The qualifying marriage was entered into in good faith by the conditional resident but during the marriage the alien spouse or child was battered by or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by the citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent.

(2) A conditional resident who is in exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings may apply for the waiver only until such time as there is a final order of exclusion, deportation or removal.

(b) Fee. Form I–751 shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee required under § 103.7(b) of this Chapter.

(c) [Reserved by 74 FR 26939]

(d) Interview. The service center director may refer the application to the appropriate local office and require that the alien appear for an interview in connection with the application for a waiver. The director shall deny the application and initiate removal proceedings if the alien fails to appear for the interview as required, unless the alien establishes good cause for such failure and the interview is rescheduled.

(e) Adjudication of waiver application--

(1) Application based on claim of hardship. In considering an application for a waiver based upon an alien's claim that extreme hardship would result from the alien's removal from the United States, the director shall take into account only those factors that arose subsequent to the alien's entry as a conditional permanent resident. The director shall bear in mind that any removal from the United States is likely to result in a certain degree of hardship, and that only in those cases where the hardship is extreme should the application for a waiver be granted. The burden of establishing that extreme hardship exists rests solely with the applicant.

(2) Application for waiver based upon the alien's claim that the marriage was entered into in good faith. In considering whether an alien entered into a qualifying marriage in good faith, the director shall consider evidence relating to the amount of commitment by both parties to the marital relationship. Such evidence may include--

(i) Documentation relating to the degree to which the financial assets and liabilities of the parties were combined;

(ii) Documentation concerning the length of time during which the parties cohabited after the marriage and after the alien obtained permanent residence;

(iii) Birth certificates of children born to the marriage; and

(iv) Other evidence deemed pertinent by the director.

(3) Application for waiver based on alien's claim of having been battered or subjected to extreme mental cruelty. A conditional resident who entered into the qualifying marriage in good faith, and who was battered or was the subject of extreme cruelty or whose child was battered by or was the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the United States citizen or permanent resident spouse during the marriage, may request a waiver of the joint filing requirement. The conditional resident parent of a battered or abused child may apply for the waiver regardless of the child's citizenship or immigration status.

(i) For the purpose of this chapter the phrase “was battered by or was the subject of extreme cruelty” includes, but is not limited to, being the victim of any act or threatened act of violence, including any forceful detention, which results or threatens to result in physical or mental injury. Psychological or sexual abuse or exploitation, including rape, molestation, incest (if the victim is a minor) or forced prostitution shall be considered acts of violence.

(ii) A conditional resident or former conditional resident who has not departed the United States after termination of resident status may apply for the waiver. The conditional resident may apply for the waiver regardless of his or her present marital status. The conditional resident may still be residing with the citizen or permanent resident spouse, or may be divorced or separated.

(iii) Evidence of physical abuse may include, but is not limited to, expert testimony in the form of reports and affidavits from police, judges, medical personnel, school officials and social service agency personnel. The Service must be satisfied with the credibility of the sources of documentation submitted in support of the application.

(iv) The Service is not in a position to evaluate testimony regarding a claim of extreme mental cruelty provided by unlicensed or untrained individuals. Therefore, all waiver applications based upon claims of extreme mental cruelty must be supported by the evaluation of a professional recognized by the Service as an expert in the field. An evaluation which was obtained in the course of the divorce proceedings may be submitted if it was provided by a professional recognized by the Service as an expert in the field.

(v) The evaluation must contain the professional's full name, professional address and license number. It must also identify the licensing, certifying, or registering authority. The Service retains the right to verify the professional's license.

(vi) The Service's decision on extreme mental cruelty waivers will be based upon the evaluation of the recognized professional. The Service reserves the right to request additional evaluations from expert witnesses chosen by the Service. Requests for additional evaluations must be authorized by the Assistant Regional Commissioner for Adjudications.

(vii) Licensed clinical social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists are professionals recognized by the Service for the purpose of this section. A clinical social worker who is not licensed only because the state in which he or she practices does not provide for licensing will be considered a licensed professional recognized by the Service if he or she is included in the Register of Clinical Social Workers published by the National Association of Social Workers or is certified by the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work.

(viii) As directed by the statute, the information contained in the application and supporting documents shall not be released without a court order or the written consent of the applicant; or, in the case of a child, the written consent of the parent or legal guardian who filed the waiver application on the child's behalf. Information may be released only to the applicant, his or her authorized representative, an officer of the Department of Justice, or any federal or State law enforcement agency. Any information provided under this part may be used for the purposes of enforcement of the Act or in any criminal proceeding.

(f) Decision. The director shall provide the alien with written notice of the decision on the application for waiver. If the decision is adverse, the director shall advise the alien of the reasons therefor, notify the alien of the termination of his or her permanent residence status, instruct the alien to surrender any Permanent Resident Card issued by the Service and issue a notice to appear placing the alien in removal proceedings. No appeal shall lie from the decision of the director; however, the alien may seek review of such decision in removal proceedings.

8 CFR § 245.23- Adjustment of aliens in T nonimmigrant classification

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 245.23 Adjustment of aliens in T nonimmigrant classification.

(a) Eligibility of principal T–1 applicants. Except as described in paragraph (c) of this section, an alien may be granted adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, provided the alien:

(1) Applies for such adjustment;

(2)(i) Was lawfully admitted to the United States as a T–1 nonimmigrant, as defined in 8 CFR 214.11(a)(2); and

(ii) Continues to hold such status at the time of application, or accrued 4 years in T–1 nonimmigrant status and files a complete application before April 13, 2009;

(3) Has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of at least 3 years since the first date of lawful admission as a T-1 nonimmigrant, or has been physically present in the United States for a continuous period during the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking and the Attorney General has determined that the investigation or prosecution is complete, whichever period is less; except

(i) If the applicant has departed from the United States for any single period in excess of 90 days or for any periods in the aggregate exceeding 180 days, the applicant shall be considered to have failed to maintain continuous physical presence in the United States for purposes of section 245(l)(1)(A) of the Act; and
(ii) If the alien was granted T nonimmigrant status under 8 CFR 214.11, such alien's physical presence in the CNMI before, on, or after November 28, 2009, and subsequent to the grant of T nonimmigrant status, is considered as equivalent to presence in the United States pursuant to an admission in T nonimmigrant status.

(4) Is admissible to the United States under the Act, or otherwise has been granted a waiver by USCIS of any applicable ground of inadmissibility, at the time of examination for adjustment;

(5) Has been a person of good moral character since first being lawfully admitted as a T–1 nonimmigrant and until USCIS completes the adjudication of the application for adjustment of status; and

(6)(i) Has, since first being lawfully admitted as a T–1 nonimmigrant and until the conclusion of adjudication of the application, complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking, as defined in 8 CFR 214.11(a), or

(ii) Would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States, as provided in 8 CFR 214.11(i).

(b) Eligibility of derivative family members. A derivative family member of a T–1 nonimmigrant status holder may be granted adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, provided:

(1) The T–1 principal nonimmigrant has applied for adjustment of status under this section and meets the eligibility requirements described under subsection (a);

(2) The derivative family member was lawfully admitted to the United States in derivative T nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of the Act, and continues to hold such status at the time of application;

(3) The derivative family member has applied for such adjustment; and

(4) The derivative family member is admissible to the United States under the Act, or otherwise has been granted a waiver by USCIS of any applicable ground of inadmissibility, at the time of examination for adjustment.

(c) Exceptions. An alien is not eligible for adjustment of status under paragraphs (a) or (b) of this section if:

(1) The alien's T nonimmigrant status has been revoked pursuant to 8 CFR 214.11(s);

(2) The alien is described in sections 212(a)(3), 212(a)(10)(C), or 212(a)(10)(E) of the Act; or

(3) The alien is inadmissible under any other provisions of section 212(a) of the Act and has not obtained a waiver of inadmissibility in accordance with 8 CFR 212.18 or 214.11(j). Where the applicant establishes that the victimization was a central reason for the applicant's unlawful presence in the United States, section 212(a)(9)(B)(iii) of the Act is not applicable, and the applicant need not obtain a waiver of that ground of inadmissibility. The applicant, however, must submit with the Form I–485 evidence sufficient to demonstrate that the victimization suffered was a central reason for the unlawful presence in the United States. To qualify for this exception, the victimization need not be the sole reason for the unlawful presence but the nexus between the victimization and the unlawful presence must be more than tangential, incidental, or superficial.

(d) Jurisdiction. USCIS shall determine whether a T–1 applicant for adjustment of status under this section was lawfully admitted as a T–1 nonimmigrant and continues to hold such status, has been physically present in the United States during the requisite period, is admissible to the United States or has otherwise been granted a waiver of any applicable ground of inadmissibility, and has been a person of good moral character during the requisite period. The Attorney General shall determine whether the applicant received a reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking as defined in 8 CFR 214.11(a), and, if so, whether the applicant complied in such request. If the Attorney General determines that the applicant failed to comply with any reasonable request for assistance, USCIS shall deny the application for adjustment of status unless USCIS finds that the applicant would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States.

(e) Application.

(1) General. Each T–1 principal applicant and each derivative family member who is applying for adjustment of status must file Form I–485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, and

(i) Accompanying documents, in accordance with the form instructions;

(ii) The fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) or an application for a fee waiver;

(iii) The biometric services fee prescribed by 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) or an application for a fee waiver;

(iv) A photocopy of the alien's Form I–797, Notice of Action, granting T nonimmigrant status;

(v) A photocopy of all pages of the alien's most recent passport or an explanation of why the alien does not have a passport;

(vi) A copy of the alien's Form I–94 (see § 1.4), Arrival–Departure Record; and

(vii) Evidence that the applicant was lawfully admitted in T nonimmigrant status and continues to hold such status at the time of application. For T nonimmigrants who traveled outside the United States and re-entered using an advance parole document issued under 8 CFR 245.2(a)(4)(ii)(B), the date that the alien was first admitted in lawful T status will be the date of admission for purposes of this section, regardless of how the applicant's Form I–94 “Arrival–Departure Record” is annotated.

(2) T–1 principal applicants. In addition to the items in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, T–1 principal applicants must submit:

(i) Evidence, including an affidavit from the applicant and a photocopy of all pages of all of the applicant's passports valid during the required period (or equivalent travel document or a valid explanation of why the applicant does not have a passport), that he or she has been continuously physically present in the United States for the requisite period as described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Applicants should submit evidence described in 8 CFR 245.22. A signed statement from the applicant attesting to the applicant's continuous physical presence alone will not be sufficient to establish this eligibility requirement. If additional documentation is not available, the applicant must explain why in an affidavit and provide additional affidavits from others with first-hand knowledge who can attest to the applicant's continuous physical presence by specific facts.

(A) If the applicant has departed from and returned to the United States while in T–1 nonimmigrant status, the applicant must submit supporting evidence showing the dates of each departure from the United States and the date, manner and place of each return to the United States.

(B) Applicants applying for adjustment of status under this section who have less than 3 years of continuous physical presence while in T–1 nonimmigrant status must submit a document signed by the Attorney General or his designee, attesting that the investigation or prosecution is complete.

(ii) Evidence of good moral character in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section; and

(iii)(A) Evidence that the alien has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of the trafficking as described in paragraph (f)(1) of this section since having first been lawfully admitted in T–1 nonimmigrant status and until the adjudication of the application; or

(B) Evidence that the alien would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm if removed from the United States as described in paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

(3) Evidence relating to discretion. Each T applicant bears the burden of showing that discretion should be exercised in his or her favor. Where adverse factors are present, an applicant may offset these by submitting supporting documentation establishing mitigating equities that the applicant wants USCIS to consider. Depending on the nature of adverse factors, the applicant may be required to clearly demonstrate that the denial of adjustment of status would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. Moreover, depending on the gravity of the adverse factors, such a showing might still be insufficient. For example, only the most compelling positive factors would justify a favorable exercise of discretion in cases where the applicant has committed or been convicted of a serious violent crime, a crime involving sexual abuse committed upon a child, or multiple drug-related crimes, or where there are security- or terrorism-related concerns.

(f) Assistance in the investigation or prosecution or a showing of extreme hardship. Each T–1 principal applicant must establish, to the satisfaction of the Attorney General, that since having been lawfully admitted as a T–1 nonimmigrant and up until the adjudication of the application, he or she complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of the acts of trafficking, as defined in 8 CFR 214.11(a), or establish, to the satisfaction of USCIS, that he or she would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States.

(1) Each T–1 applicant for adjustment of status under section 245(l) of the Act must submit a document issued by the Attorney General or his designee certifying that the applicant has complied with any reasonable requests for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of the human trafficking offenses during the requisite period; or

(2) In lieu of showing continued compliance with requests for assistance, an applicant may establish, to the satisfaction of USCIS, that he or she would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal from the United States. The hardship determination will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with the factors described in 8 CFR 214.11(i). Where the basis for the hardship claim represents a continuation of the hardship claimed in the application for T nonimmigrant status, the applicant need not re-document the entire claim, but rather may submit evidence to establish that the previously established hardship is ongoing. However, in reaching its decision regarding hardship under this section, USCIS is not bound by its previous hardship determination made under 8 CFR 214.11(i).

(g) Good moral character. A T–1 nonimmigrant applicant for adjustment of status under this section must demonstrate that he or she has been a person of good moral character since first being lawfully admitted as a T–1 nonimmigrant and until USCIS completes the adjudication of their applications for adjustment of status. Claims of good moral character will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account section 101(f) of the Act and the standards of the community. The applicant must submit evidence of good moral character as follows:

(1) An affidavit from the applicant attesting to his or her good moral character, accompanied by a local police clearance or a state-issued criminal background check from each locality or state in the United States in which the applicant has resided for 6 or more months during the requisite period in continued presence or T–1 nonimmigrant status.

(2) If police clearances, criminal background checks, or similar reports are not available for some or all locations, the applicant may include an explanation and submit other evidence with his or her affidavit.

(3) USCIS will consider other credible evidence of good moral character, such as affidavits from responsible persons who can knowledgeably attest to the applicant's good moral character.

(4) An applicant who is under 14 years of age is generally presumed to be a person of good moral character and is not required to submit evidence of good moral character. However, if there is reason to believe that an applicant who is under 14 years of age may lack good moral character, USCIS may require evidence of good moral character.

(h) Filing and decision. An application for adjustment of status from a T nonimmigrant under section 245(l) of the Act shall be filed with the USCIS office identified in the instructions to Form I–485. Upon approval of adjustment of status under this section, USCIS will record the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date of such approval and will notify the applicant in writing. Derivative family members' applications may not be approved before the principal applicant's application is approved.

(i) Denial. If the application for adjustment of status or the application for a waiver of inadmissibility is denied, USCIS will notify the applicant in writing of the reasons for the denial and of the right to appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) pursuant to the AAO appeal procedures found at 8 CFR 103.3. Denial of the T–1 principal applicant's application will result in the automatic denial of a derivative family member's application.

(j) Effect of Departure. If an applicant for adjustment of status under this section departs the United States, he or she shall be deemed to have abandoned the application, and it will be denied. If, however, the applicant is not under exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, and he or she filed a Form I–131, Application for Travel Document, in accordance with the instructions on the form, or any other appropriate form, and was granted advance parole by USCIS for such absences, and was inspected and paroled upon returning to the United States, he or she will not be deemed to have abandoned the application. If the adjustment of status application of such an individual is subsequently denied, he or she will be treated as an applicant for admission subject to sections 212 and 235 of the Act. If an applicant for adjustment of status under this section is under exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, USCIS will deem the application for adjustment of status abandoned as of the moment of the applicant's departure from the United States.

(k) Inapplicability of 8 CFR 245.1 and 245.2. Sections 245.1 and 245.2 of this chapter do not apply to aliens seeking adjustment of status under this section.

(l) Annual cap of T–1 principal applicant adjustments.

(1) General. The total number of T–1 principal applicants whose status is adjusted to that of lawful permanent residents under this section may not exceed the statutory cap in any fiscal year.

(2) Waiting list. All eligible applicants who, due solely to the limit imposed in section 245(l)(4) of the Act and paragraph (m)(1) of this section, are not granted adjustment of status will be placed on a waiting list. USCIS will send the applicant written notice of such placement. Priority on the waiting list will be determined by the date the application was properly filed, with the oldest applications receiving the highest priority. In the following fiscal year, USCIS will proceed with granting adjustment of status to applicants on the waiting list who remain admissible and eligible for adjustment of status in order of highest priority until the available numbers are exhausted for the given fiscal year. After the status of qualifying applicants on the waiting list has been adjusted, any remaining numbers for that fiscal year will be issued to new qualifying applicants in the order that the applications were properly filed.

8 CFR § 245.24- Adjustment of aliens in U nonimmigrant status

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 245.24 Adjustment of aliens in U nonimmigrant status.

(a) Definitions. As used in this section, the term:

(1) Continuous Physical Presence means the period of time that the alien has been physically present in the United States and must be a continuous period of at least 3 years since the date of admission as a U nonimmigrant continuing through the date of the conclusion of adjudication of the application for adjustment of status. If the alien has departed from the United States for any single period in excess of 90 days or for any periods in the aggregate exceeding 180 days, the applicant must include a certification from the agency that signed the Form I–918, Supplement B, in support of the alien's U nonimmigrant status that the absences were necessary to assist in the criminal investigation or prosecution or were otherwise justified.

(2) Qualifying Family Member means a U–1 principal applicant's spouse, child, or, in the case of an alien child, a parent who has never been admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant under sections 101(a)(15)(U) and 214(p) of the Act.

(3) U Interim Relief means deferred action and work authorization benefits provided by USCIS or the Immigration and Naturalization Service to applicants for U nonimmigrant status deemed prima facie eligible for U nonimmigrant status prior to publication of the U nonimmigrant status regulations.

(4) U Nonimmigrant means an alien who is in lawful U–1, U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 status.

(5) Refusal to Provide Assistance in a Criminal Investigation or Prosecution is the refusal by the alien to provide assistance to a law enforcement agency or official that had responsibility for the investigation or prosecution of persons in connection with the qualifying criminal activity after the alien was granted U nonimmigrant status. The Attorney General will determine whether the alien's refusal was unreasonable under the totality of the circumstances based on all available affirmative evidence. The Attorney General may take into account such factors as general law enforcement, prosecutorial, and judicial practices; the kinds of assistance asked of other victims of crimes involving an element of force, coercion, or fraud; the nature of the request to the alien for assistance; the nature of the victimization; the applicable guidelines for victim and witness assistance; and the specific circumstances of the applicant, including fear, severe traumatization (both mental and physical), and the age and maturity of the applicant.

(b) Eligibility of U Nonimmigrants. Except as described in paragraph (c) of this section, an alien may be granted adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, provided the alien:

(1) Applies for such adjustment;

(2)(i) Was lawfully admitted to the United States as either a U–1, U–2, U–3, U–4 or U–5 nonimmigrant, as defined in 8 CFR 214.1(a)(2), and

(ii) Continues to hold such status at the time of application; or accrued at least 4 years in U interim relief status and files a complete adjustment application within 120 days of the date of approval of the Form I–918, Petition for U Nonimmigrant Status;

(3) Has continuous physical presence for 3 years as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section;

(4) Is not inadmissible under section 212(a)(3)(E) of the Act;

(5) Has not unreasonably refused to provide assistance to an official or law enforcement agency that had responsibility in an investigation or prosecution of persons in connection with the qualifying criminal activity after the alien was granted U nonimmigrant status, as determined by the Attorney General, based on affirmative evidence; and

(6) Establishes to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the alien's presence in the United States is justified on humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity, or is in the public interest.

(c) Exception. An alien is not eligible for adjustment of status under paragraph (b) of this section if the alien's U nonimmigrant status has been revoked pursuant to 8 CFR 214.14(h).

(d) Application Procedures for U nonimmigrants. Each U nonimmigrant who is requesting adjustment of status must submit:

(1) Form I–485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, in accordance with the form instructions;

(2) The fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) or an application for a fee waiver;

(3) The biometric services fee as prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) or an application for a fee waiver;

(4) A photocopy of the alien's Form I–797, Notice of Action, granting U nonimmigrant status;

(5) A photocopy of all pages of all of the applicant's passports valid during the required period (or equivalent travel document or a valid explanation of why the applicant does not have a passport) and documentation showing the following:

(i) The date of any departure from the United States during the period that the applicant was in U nonimmigrant status;

(ii) The date, manner, and place of each return to the United States during the period that the applicant was in U nonimmigrant status; and

(iii) If the applicant has been absent from the United States for any period in excess of 90 days or for any periods in the aggregate of 180 days or more, a certification from the investigating or prosecuting agency that the absences were necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity or were otherwise justified;

(6) A copy of the alien's Form I–94 (see § 1.4), Arrival–Departure Record;

(7) Evidence that the applicant was lawfully admitted in U nonimmigrant status and continues to hold such status at the time of application;

(8) Evidence pertaining to any request made to the alien by an official or law enforcement agency for assistance in an investigation or prosecution of persons in connection with the qualifying criminal activity, and the alien's response to such request;

(9) Evidence, including an affidavit from the applicant, that he or she has continuous physical presence for at least 3 years as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section. Applicants should submit evidence described in 8 CFR 245.22. A signed statement from the applicant attesting to continuous physical presence alone will not be sufficient to establish this eligibility requirement. If additional documentation is not available, the applicant must explain why in an affidavit and provide additional affidavits from others with first-hand knowledge who can attest to the applicant's continuous physical presence by specific facts;

(10) Evidence establishing that approval is warranted. Any other information required by the instructions to Form I–485, including whether adjustment of status is warranted as a matter of discretion on humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity, or is otherwise in the public interest; and

(11) Evidence relating to discretion. An applicant has the burden of showing that discretion should be exercised in his or her favor. Although U adjustment applicants are not required to establish that they are admissible, USCIS may take into account all factors, including acts that would otherwise render the applicant inadmissible, in making its discretionary decision on the application. Where adverse factors are present, an applicant may offset these by submitting supporting documentation establishing mitigating equities that the applicant wants USCIS to consider when determining whether or not a favorable exercise of discretion is appropriate. Depending on the nature of the adverse factors, the applicant may be required to clearly demonstrate that the denial of adjustment of status would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. Moreover, depending on the gravity of the adverse factors, such a showing might still be insufficient. For example, USCIS will generally not exercise its discretion favorably in cases where the applicant has committed or been convicted of a serious violent crime, a crime involving sexual abuse committed upon a child, or multiple drug-related crimes, or where there are security- or terrorism-related concerns.

(e) Continued assistance in the investigation or prosecution. Each applicant for adjustment of status under section 245(m) of the Act must provide evidence of whether or not any request was made to the alien to provide assistance, after having been lawfully admitted as a U nonimmigrant, in an investigation or prosecution of persons in connection with the qualifying criminal activity, and his or her response to any such requests.

(1) An applicant for adjustment of status under section 245(m) of the Act may submit a document signed by an official or law enforcement agency that had responsibility for the investigation or prosecution of persons in connection with the qualifying criminal activity, affirming that the applicant complied with (or did not unreasonably refuse to comply with) reasonable requests for assistance in the investigation or prosecution during the requisite period. To meet this evidentiary requirement, applicants may submit a newly executed Form I–918, Supplement B, “U Nonimmigrant Status Certification.”

(2) If the applicant does not submit a document described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the applicant may submit an affidavit describing the applicant's efforts, if any, to obtain a newly executed Form I–918, Supplement B, or other evidence describing whether or not the alien received any request to provide assistance in a criminal investigation or prosecution, and the alien's response to any such request.

(i) The applicant should also include, when possible, identifying information about the law enforcement personnel involved in the case and any information, of which the applicant is aware, about the status of the criminal investigation or prosecution, including any charges filed and the outcome of any criminal proceedings, or whether the investigation or prosecution was dropped and the reasons.

(ii) If applicable, an applicant may also provide a more detailed description of situations where the applicant refused to comply with requests for assistance because the applicant believed that the requests for assistance were unreasonable.

(3) In determining whether the applicant has satisfied the continued assistance requirement, USCIS or the Department of Justice may at its discretion contact the certifying agency that executed the applicant's original Form I–918, Supplement B, “U Nonimmigrant Status Certification” or any other law enforcement agency.

(4) In accordance with procedures determined by the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS will refer certain applications for adjustment of status to the Department of Justice for determination of whether the applicant unreasonably refused to provide assistance in a criminal investigation or prosecution. If the applicant submits a document described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, USCIS will not refer the application for consideration by the Department of Justice absent extraordinary circumstances. In other cases, USCIS will only refer an application to the Department of Justice if an official or law enforcement agency has provided evidence that the alien has refused to comply with requests to provide assistance in an investigation or prosecution of persons in connection with the qualifying criminal activity or if there are other affirmative evidence in the record suggesting that the applicant may have unreasonably refused to provide such assistance. In these instances, USCIS will request that the Department of Justice determine, based on all available affirmative evidence, whether the applicant unreasonably refused to provide assistance in a criminal investigation or prosecution. The Department of Justice will have 90 days to provide a written determination to USCIS, or where appropriate, request an extension of time to provide such a determination. After such time, USCIS may adjudicate the application whether or not the Department of Justice has provided a response.

(f) Decision. The decision to approve or deny a Form I–485 filed under section 245(m) of the Act is a discretionary determination that lies solely within USCIS's jurisdiction. After completing its review of the application and evidence, USCIS will issue a written decision approving or denying Form I–485 and notify the applicant of this decision.

(1) Approvals. If USCIS determines that the applicant has met the requirements for adjustment of status and merits a favorable exercise of discretion, USCIS will approve the Form I–485. Upon approval of adjustment of status under this section, USCIS will record the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date of such approval.

(2) Denials. Upon the denial of an application for adjustment of status under section 245(m) of the Act, the applicant will be notified in writing of the decision and the reason for the denial in accordance with 8 CFR part 103. If an applicant chooses to appeal the denial to the Administrative Appeals Office pursuant to the provisions of 8 CFR 103.3, the denial will not become final until the appeal is adjudicated.

(g) Filing petitions for qualifying family members. A principal U–1 applicant may file an immigrant petition under section 245(m)(3) of the Act on behalf of a qualifying family member as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, provided that:

(1) The qualifying family member has never held U nonimmigrant status;

(2) The qualifying family relationship, as defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, exists at the time of the U–1 principal's adjustment and continues to exist through the adjudication of the adjustment or issuance of the immigrant visa for the qualifying family member;

(3) The qualifying family member or the principal U–1 alien, would suffer extreme hardship as described in 8 CFR 245.24(g) (to the extent the factors listed are applicable) if the qualifying family member is not allowed to remain in or enter the United States; and

(4) The principal U–1 alien has adjusted status to that of a lawful permanent resident, has a pending application for adjustment of status, or is concurrently filing an application for adjustment of status.

(h) Procedures for filing petitions for qualifying family members.

(1) Required documents. For each qualifying family member who plans to seek an immigrant visa or adjustment of status under section 245(m)(3) of the Act, the U–1 principal applicant must submit, either concurrently with, or after he or she has filed, his or her Form I–485:

(i) Form I–929 in accordance with the form instructions;

(ii) The fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) or an application for a fee waiver;

(iii) Evidence of the relationship listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, such as a birth or marriage certificate. If primary evidence is unavailable, secondary evidence or affidavits may be submitted in accordance with 8 CFR 103.2(b)(2);

(iv) Evidence establishing that either the qualifying family member or the U–1 principal alien would suffer extreme hardship if the qualifying family member is not allowed to remain in or join the principal in the United States. Extreme hardship is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the particular facts and circumstances of each case. Applicants are encouraged to document all applicable factors in their applications, as the presence or absence of any one factor may not be determinative in evaluating extreme hardship. To establish extreme hardship to a qualifying family member who is physically present in the United States, an applicant must demonstrate that removal of the qualifying family member would result in a degree of hardship beyond that typically associated with removal. Factors that may be considered in evaluating whether removal would result in extreme hardship to the alien or to the alien's qualifying family member include, but are not limited to:

(A) The nature and extent of the physical or mental abuse suffered as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity;

(B) The impact of loss of access to the United States courts and criminal justice system, including but not limited to, participation in the criminal investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity of which the alien was a victim, and any civil proceedings related to family law, child custody, or other court proceeding stemming from the criminal activity;

(C) The likelihood that the perpetrator's family, friends, or others acting on behalf of the perpetrator in the home country would harm the applicant or the applicant's children;

(D) The applicant's needs for social, medical, mental health, or other supportive services for victims of crime that are unavailable or not reasonably accessible in the home country;

(E) Where the criminal activity involved arose in a domestic violence context, the existence of laws and social practices in the home country that punish the applicant or the applicant's child(ren) because they have been victims of domestic violence or have taken steps to leave an abusive household;

(F) The perpetrator's ability to travel to the home country and the ability and willingness of authorities in the home country to protect the applicant or the applicant's children; and

(G) The age of the applicant, both at the time of entry to the United States and at the time of application for adjustment of status; and

(v) Evidence, including a signed statement from the qualifying family member and other supporting documentation, to establish that discretion should be exercised in his or her favor. Although qualifying family members are not required to establish that they are admissible on any of the grounds set forth in section 212(a) of the Act other than on section 212(a)(3)(E) of the Act, USCIS may take into account all factors, including acts that would otherwise render the applicant inadmissible, in making its discretionary decision on the application. Where adverse factors are present, an applicant may offset these by submitting supporting documentation establishing mitigating equities that the applicant wants USCIS to consider when determining whether or not a favorable exercise of discretion is appropriate. Depending on the nature of the adverse factors, the applicant may be required to clearly demonstrate that the denial of adjustment of status would result in exceptional and extremely unusual hardship. Moreover, depending on the gravity of the adverse factors, such a showing might still be insufficient. For example, USCIS will generally not exercise its discretion favorably in cases where the applicant has committed or been convicted of a serious violent crime, a crime involving sexual abuse committed upon a child, or multiple drug-related crimes, or where there are security- or terrorism-related concerns.

(2) Decision. The decision to approve or deny a Form I–929 is a discretionary determination that lies solely within USCIS's jurisdiction. The Form I–929 for a qualifying family member may not be approved, however, until such time as the principal U–1 applicant's application for adjustment of status has been approved. After completing its review of the application and evidence, USCIS will issue a written decision and notify the applicant of that decision in writing.

(i) Approvals.

(A) For qualifying family members who are outside of the United States, if the Form I–929 is approved, USCIS will forward notice of the approval either to the Department of State's National Visa Center so the applicant can apply to the consular post for an immigrant visa, or to the appropriate port of entry for a visa exempt alien.

(B) For qualifying family members who are physically present in the United States, if the Form I–929 is approved, USCIS will forward notice of the approval to the U–1 principal applicant.

(ii) Denials. If the Form I–929 is denied, the applicant will be notified in writing of the reason(s) for the denial in accordance with 8 CFR part 103. If an applicant chooses to appeal the denial to the Administrative Appeals Office pursuant to 8 CFR 103.3, the denial will not become final until the appeal is adjudicated. Denial of the U–1 principal applicant's application will result in the automatic denial of a qualifying family member's Form I–929. There shall be no appeal of such an automatic denial.

(i) Application procedures for qualifying family members who are physically present in the United States to request adjustment of status.

(1) Required documents. Qualifying family members in the United States may request adjustment of status by submitting:

(i) Form I–485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, in accordance with the form instructions;

(ii) An approved Form I–929, Petition for Qualifying Family Member of a U–1 Nonimmigrant;

(iii) The fee prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) or an application for a fee waiver; and

(iv) The biometric services fee as prescribed in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) or an application for a fee waiver.

(2) Decision. The decision to approve or deny Form I–485 is a discretionary determination that lies solely within USCIS's jurisdiction. After completing its review of the application and evidence, USCIS will issue a written decision approving or denying Form I–485 and notify the applicant of this decision in writing.

(i) Approvals. Upon approval of a Form I–485 under this section, USCIS shall record the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence as of the date of such approval.

(ii) Denial. Upon the denial of any application for adjustment of status, the applicant will be notified in writing of the decision and the reason for the denial in accordance with 8 CFR part 103. If an applicant chooses to appeal the denial to the Administrative Appeals Office pursuant to the provisions of 8 CFR 103.3, the denial will not become final until the appeal is adjudicated. During the appeal period, the applicant may not obtain or renew employment authorization under 8 CFR 274a.12(c)(9). Denial of the U–1 principal applicant's application will result in the automatic denial of a qualifying family member's Form I–485; such an automatic denial is not appealable.

(j) Effect of departure. If an applicant for adjustment of status under this section departs the United States, he or she shall be deemed to have abandoned the application, and it will be denied. If, however, the applicant is not under exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, and he or she filed a Form I–131, Application for Travel Document, in accordance with the instructions on the form, or any other appropriate form, and was granted advance parole by USCIS for such absences, and was inspected and paroled upon returning to the United States, he or she will not be deemed to have abandoned the application. If the adjustment of status application of such an individual is subsequently denied, he or she will be treated as an applicant for admission subject to sections 212 and 235 of the Act. If an applicant for adjustment of status under this section is under exclusion, deportation, or removal proceedings, USCIS will deem the application for adjustment of status abandoned as of the moment of the applicant's departure from the United States.

(k) Exclusive jurisdiction. USCIS shall have exclusive jurisdiction over adjustment applications filed under section 245(m) of the Act.

(l) Inapplicability of 8 CFR 245.1 and 245.2. The provisions of 8 CFR 245.1 and 245.2 do not apply to aliens seeking adjustment of status under section 245(m) of the Act.

8 CFR § 274a.12- Classes of aliens authorized to accept employment

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 274a.12 Classes of aliens authorized to accept employment.

(a) Aliens authorized employment incident to status. Pursuant to the statutory or regulatory reference cited, the following classes of aliens are authorized to be employed in the United States without restrictions as to location or type of employment as a condition of their admission or subsequent change to one of the indicated classes. Any alien who is within a class of aliens described in paragraphs (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(6)–(a)(8), (a)(10)–(a)(15), or (a)(20) of this section, and who seeks to be employed in the United States, must apply to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a document evidencing such employment authorization. USCIS may, in its discretion, determine the validity period assigned to any document issued evidencing an alien's authorization to work in the United States.
(1) An alien who is a lawful permanent resident (with or without conditions pursuant to section 216 of the Act), as evidenced by Form I–551 issued by the Service. An expiration date on the Form I–551 reflects only that the card must be renewed, not that the bearer's work authorization has expired;
(2) An alien admitted to the United States as a lawful temporary resident pursuant to sections 245A or 210 of the Act, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(3) An alien admitted to the United States as a refugee pursuant to section 207 of the Act for the period of time in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(4) An alien paroled into the United States as a refugee for the period of time in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(5) An alien granted asylum under section 208 of the Act for the period of time in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document, issued by USCIS to the alien. An expiration date on the employment authorization document issued by USCIS reflects only that the document must be renewed, and not that the bearer's work authorization has expired. Evidence of employment authorization shall be granted in increments not exceeding 5 years for the period of time the alien remains in that status.
(6) An alien admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant fiancé or fiancée pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(K)(i) of the Act, or an alien admitted as a child of such alien, for the period of admission in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(7) An alien admitted as a parent (N–8) or dependent child (N–9) of an alien granted permanent residence under section 101(a)(27)(I) of the Act, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(8) An alien admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant pursuant to the Compact of Free Association between the United States and of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau;
(9) Any alien admitted as a nonimmigrant spouse pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(K)(ii) of the Act, or an alien admitted as a child of such alien, for the period of admission in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document, with an expiration date issued by the Service;
(10) An alien granted withholding of deportation or removal for the period of time in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(11) An alien whose enforced departure from the United States has been deferred in accordance with a directive from the President of the United States to the Secretary. Employment is authorized for the period of time and under the conditions established by the Secretary pursuant to the Presidential directive;
(12) An alien granted Temporary Protected Status under section 244 of the Act for the period of time in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(13) An alien granted voluntary departure by the Attorney General under the Family Unity Program established by section 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(14) An alien granted Family Unity benefits under section 1504 of the Legal Immigrant Family Equity (LIFE) Act Amendments, Public Law 106–554, and the provisions of 8 CFR part 245a, Subpart C of this chapter, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by the Service;
(15) Any alien in V nonimmigrant status as defined in section 101(a)(15)(V) of the Act and 8 CFR 214.15;
(16) Any alien in T–1 nonimmigrant status, pursuant to 8 CFR 214.11, for the period in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by USCIS to the alien.
(17) [Reserved by 72 FR 53041]
(18) [Reserved by 72 FR 53041]
(19) Any alien in U–1 nonimmigrant status, pursuant to 8 CFR 214.14, for the period of time in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by USCIS to the alien.
(20) Any alien in U–2, U–3, U–4, or U–5 nonimmigrant status, pursuant to 8 CFR 214.14, for the period of time in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by USCIS to the alien.
<Text of subsection (b) effective until March 14, 2018.>
(b) Aliens authorized for employment with a specific employer incident to status. The following classes of nonimmigrant aliens are authorized to be employed in the United States by the specific employer and subject to the restrictions described in the section(s) of this chapter indicated as a condition of their admission in, or subsequent change to, such classification. An alien in one of these classes is not issued an employment authorization document by the Service:
(1) A foreign government official (A–1 or A–2), pursuant to § 214.2(a) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government entity;
(2) An employee of a foreign government official (A–3), pursuant to § 214.2(a) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government official;
(3) A foreign government official in transit (C–2 or C–3), pursuant to § 214.2(c) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government entity;
(4) [Reserved]
(5) A nonimmigrant treaty trader (E–1) or treaty investor (E–2), pursuant to § 214.2(e) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the treaty-qualifying company through which the alien attained the status. Employment authorization does not extend to the dependents of the principal treaty trader or treaty investor (also designated “E–1” or “E–2”), other than those specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section;
(6) A nonimmigrant (F–1) student who is in valid nonimmigrant student status and pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f) is seeking:
(i) On-campus employment for not more than twenty hours per week when school is in session or full-time employment when school is not in session if the student intends and is eligible to register for the next term or session. Part-time on-campus employment is authorized by the school and no specific endorsement by a school official or Service officer is necessary;
(ii) [Reserved]
(iii) Curricular practical training (internships, cooperative training programs, or work-study programs which are part of an established curriculum) after having been enrolled full-time in a Service approved institution for one full academic year. Curricular practical training (part-time or full-time) is authorized by the Designated School Official on the student's Form I–20. No Service endorsement is necessary.
(iv) An Employment Authorization Document, Form I–766 or successor form, under paragraph (c)(3)(i)(C) of this section based on a STEM Optional Practical Training extension, and whose timely filed Form I–765 or successor form is pending and employment authorization and accompanying Form I–766 or successor form issued under paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section have expired. Employment is authorized beginning on the expiration date of the Form I–766 or successor form issued under paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section and ending on the date of USCIS' written decision on the current Form I–765 or successor form, but not to exceed 180 days. For this same period, such Form I–766 or successor form is automatically extended and is considered unexpired when combined with a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F–1/M–1) Students, Form I–20 or successor form, endorsed by the Designated School Official recommending such an extension; or
(v) Pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(h) is seeking H–1B nonimmigrant status and whose duration of status and employment authorization have been extended pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(vi).
(7) A representative of an international organization (G–1, G–2, G–3, or G–4), pursuant to § 214.2(g) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government entity or the international organization;
(8) A personal employee of an official or representative of an international organization (G–5), pursuant to § 214.2(g) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the official or representative of the international organization;
(9) A temporary worker or trainee (H–1, H–2A, H–2B, or H–3), pursuant to § 214.2(h) of this chapter, or a nonimmigrant specialty occupation worker pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of the Act. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained. In the case of a professional H–2B athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, employment authorization for the player will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization is expected to file a new Form I–129 to petition for H–2B classification. If a new Form I–129 is not filed within 30 days, employment authorization will cease. If a new Form I–129 is filed within 30 days, the professional athlete's employment authorization will continue until the petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization will cease; In the case of a nonimmigrant with H–1B status, employment authorization will automatically continue upon the filing of a qualifying petition under 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(i)(H) until such petition is adjudicated, in accordance with section 214(n) of the Act and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(i)(H);
(10) An information media representative (I), pursuant to § 214.2(i) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only for the sponsoring foreign news agency or bureau. Employment authorization does not extend to the dependents of an information media representative (also designated “I”);
(11) An exchange visitor (J–1), pursuant to § 214.2(j) of this chapter and 22 CFR part 62. An alien in this status may be employed only by the exchange visitor program sponsor or appropriate designee and within the guidelines of the program approved by the Department of State as set forth in the Form DS–2019, Certificate of Eligibility, issued by the program sponsor;
(12) An intra-company transferee (L–1), pursuant to § 214.2(1) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained;
(13) An alien having extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (O–1), and an accompanying alien (O–2), pursuant to § 214.2(o) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained. In the case of a professional O–1 athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, employment authorization for the player will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after the acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization is expected to file a new Form I–129 petition for O nonimmigrant classification. If a new Form I–129 is not filed within 30 days, employment authorization will cease. If a new Form I–129 is filed within 30 days, the professional athlete's employment authorization will continue until the petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization will cease.
(14) An athlete, artist, or entertainer (P–1, P–2, or P–3), pursuant to § 214.2(p) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained. In the case of a professional P–1 athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, employment authorization for the player will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after the acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization is expected to file a new Form I–129 for P–1 nonimmigrant classification. If a new Form I–129 is not filed within 30 days, employment authorization will cease. If a new Form I–129 is filed within 30 days, the professional athlete's employment authorization will continue until the petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization will cease;
(15) An international cultural exchange visitor (Q–1), according to § 214.2(q)(1) of this chapter. An alien may only be employed by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained;
(16) An alien having a religious occupation, pursuant to § 214.2(r) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the religious organization through whom the status was obtained;
(17) Officers and personnel of the armed services of nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and representatives, officials, and staff employees of NATO (NATO–1, NATO–2, NATO–3, NATO–4, NATO–5 and NATO–6), pursuant to § 214.2(o) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by NATO;
(18) An attendant, servant or personal employee (NATO–7) of an alien admitted as a NATO–1, NATO–2, NATO–3, NATO–4, NATO–5, or NATO–6, pursuant to § 214.2(o) of this chapter. An alien admitted under this classification may be employed only by the NATO alien through whom the status was obtained;
(19) A nonimmigrant pursuant to section 214(e) of the Act. An alien in this status must be engaged in business activities at a professional level in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 16 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
(20) A nonimmigrant alien within the class of aliens described in paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(5), (b)(8), (b)(9), (b)(10), (b)(11), (b)(12), (b)(13), (b)(14), (b)(16), (b)(19), (b)(23) and (b)(25) of this section whose status has expired but on whose behalf an application for an extension of stay was timely filed pursuant to § 214.2 or § 214.6 of this chapter. These aliens are authorized to continue employment with the same employer for a period not to exceed 240 days beginning on the date of the expiration of the authorized period of stay. Such authorization shall be subject to any conditions and limitations noted on the initial authorization. However, if the district director or service center director adjudicates the application prior to the expiration of this 240 day period and denies the application for extension of stay, the employment authorization under this paragraph shall automatically terminate upon notification of the denial decision;
(21) A nonimmigrant alien within the class of aliens described in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(1)(ii)(C) who filed an application for an extension of stay pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2 during his or her period of admission. Such alien is authorized to be employed by a new employer that has filed an H–2A petition naming the alien as a beneficiary and requesting an extension of stay for the alien for a period not to exceed 120 days beginning from the “Received Date” on Form I–797 (Notice of Action) acknowledging receipt of the petition requesting an extension of stay, provided that the employer has enrolled in and is a participant in good standing in the E–Verify program, as determined by USCIS in its discretion. Such authorization will be subject to any conditions and limitations noted on the initial authorization, except as to the employer and place of employment. However, if the District Director or Service Center director adjudicates the application prior to the expiration of this 120–day period and denies the application for extension of stay, the employment authorization under this paragraph (b)(21) shall automatically terminate upon 15 days after the date of the denial decision. The employment authorization shall also terminate automatically if the employer fails to remain a participant in good standing in the E–Verify program, as determined by USCIS in its discretion;
(22) An alien in E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrant status pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(e)(23). An alien in this status may be employed only by the qualifying company through which the alien attained the status. An alien in E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrant status may be employed only in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a qualifying entity. An alien who attained E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrant status based upon a Foreign Retiree Investment Certificate or Certification is not employment-authorized. Employment authorization does not extend to the dependents of the principal investor (also designated E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrants) other than those specified in paragraph (c)(12) of this section;
(23) A Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands transitional worker (CW–1) pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(w). An alien in this status may be employed only in the CNMI during the transition period, and only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained, or as otherwise authorized by 8 CFR 214.2(w). An alien who is lawfully present in the CNMI (as defined by 8 CFR 214.2(w)(1)(v)) on or before November 27, 2011, is authorized to be employed in the CNMI, and is so employed in the CNMI by an employer properly filing an application under 8 CFR 214.2(w)(14)(ii) on or before such date for a grant of CW–1 status to its employee in the CNMI for the purpose of the alien continuing the employment, is authorized to continue such employment on or after November 27, 2011, until a decision is made on the application;
(24) An alien who is authorized to be employed in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a period of up to 2 years following the transition program effective date, under section 6(e)(2) of Public Law 94–241, as added by section 702(a) of Public Law 110–229. Such alien is only authorized to continue in the same employment that he or she had on the transition program effective date as defined in 8 CFR 1.1 until the earlier of the date that is 2 years after the transition program effective date or the date of expiration of the alien's employment authorization, unless the alien had unrestricted employment authorization or was otherwise authorized as of the transition program effective date to change employers, in which case the alien may have such employment privileges as were authorized as of the transition program effective date for up to 2 years; or
(25) A nonimmigrant treaty alien in a specialty occupation (E–3) pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of the Act.
<Text of subsection (b) effective March 14, 2018.>
(b) Aliens authorized for employment with a specific employer incident to status or parole. The following classes of aliens are authorized to be employed in the United States by the specific employer and subject to any restrictions described in the section(s) of this chapter indicated as a condition of their parole or of their admission in, or subsequent change to, the designated nonimmigrant classification. An alien in one of these classes is not issued an employment authorization document by DHS:
(1) A foreign government official (A–1 or A–2), pursuant to § 214.2(a) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government entity;
(2) An employee of a foreign government official (A–3), pursuant to § 214.2(a) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government official;
(3) A foreign government official in transit (C–2 or C–3), pursuant to § 214.2(c) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government entity;
(4) [Reserved]
(5) A nonimmigrant treaty trader (E–1) or treaty investor (E–2), pursuant to § 214.2(e) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the treaty-qualifying company through which the alien attained the status. Employment authorization does not extend to the dependents of the principal treaty trader or treaty investor (also designated “E–1” or “E–2”), other than those specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section;
(6) A nonimmigrant (F–1) student who is in valid nonimmigrant student status and pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f) is seeking:
(i) On-campus employment for not more than twenty hours per week when school is in session or full-time employment when school is not in session if the student intends and is eligible to register for the next term or session. Part-time on-campus employment is authorized by the school and no specific endorsement by a school official or Service officer is necessary;
(ii) [Reserved]
(iii) Curricular practical training (internships, cooperative training programs, or work-study programs which are part of an established curriculum) after having been enrolled full-time in a Service approved institution for one full academic year. Curricular practical training (part-time or full-time) is authorized by the Designated School Official on the student's Form I–20. No Service endorsement is necessary.
(iv) An Employment Authorization Document, Form I–766 or successor form, under paragraph (c)(3)(i)(C) of this section based on a STEM Optional Practical Training extension, and whose timely filed Form I–765 or successor form is pending and employment authorization and accompanying Form I–766 or successor form issued under paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section have expired. Employment is authorized beginning on the expiration date of the Form I–766 or successor form issued under paragraph (c)(3)(i)(B) of this section and ending on the date of USCIS' written decision on the current Form I–765 or successor form, but not to exceed 180 days. For this same period, such Form I–766 or successor form is automatically extended and is considered unexpired when combined with a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F–1/M–1) Students, Form I–20 or successor form, endorsed by the Designated School Official recommending such an extension; or
(v) Pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(h) is seeking H–1B nonimmigrant status and whose duration of status and employment authorization have been extended pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f)(5)(vi).
(7) A representative of an international organization (G–1, G–2, G–3, or G–4), pursuant to § 214.2(g) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the foreign government entity or the international organization;
(8) A personal employee of an official or representative of an international organization (G–5), pursuant to § 214.2(g) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the official or representative of the international organization;
(9) A temporary worker or trainee (H–1, H–2A, H–2B, or H–3), pursuant to § 214.2(h) of this chapter, or a nonimmigrant specialty occupation worker pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of the Act. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained. In the case of a professional H–2B athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, employment authorization for the player will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization is expected to file a new Form I–129 to petition for H–2B classification. If a new Form I–129 is not filed within 30 days, employment authorization will cease. If a new Form I–129 is filed within 30 days, the professional athlete's employment authorization will continue until the petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization will cease; In the case of a nonimmigrant with H–1B status, employment authorization will automatically continue upon the filing of a qualifying petition under 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(i)(H) until such petition is adjudicated, in accordance with section 214(n) of the Act and 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(i)(H);
(10) An information media representative (I), pursuant to § 214.2(i) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only for the sponsoring foreign news agency or bureau. Employment authorization does not extend to the dependents of an information media representative (also designated “I”);
(11) An exchange visitor (J–1), pursuant to § 214.2(j) of this chapter and 22 CFR part 62. An alien in this status may be employed only by the exchange visitor program sponsor or appropriate designee and within the guidelines of the program approved by the Department of State as set forth in the Form DS–2019, Certificate of Eligibility, issued by the program sponsor;
(12) An intra-company transferee (L–1), pursuant to § 214.2(1) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained;
(13) An alien having extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics (O–1), and an accompanying alien (O–2), pursuant to § 214.2(o) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained. In the case of a professional O–1 athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, employment authorization for the player will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after the acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization is expected to file a new Form I–129 petition for O nonimmigrant classification. If a new Form I–129 is not filed within 30 days, employment authorization will cease. If a new Form I–129 is filed within 30 days, the professional athlete's employment authorization will continue until the petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization will cease.
(14) An athlete, artist, or entertainer (P–1, P–2, or P–3), pursuant to § 214.2(p) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained. In the case of a professional P–1 athlete who is traded from one organization to another organization, employment authorization for the player will automatically continue for a period of 30 days after the acquisition by the new organization, within which time the new organization is expected to file a new Form I–129 for P–1 nonimmigrant classification. If a new Form I–129 is not filed within 30 days, employment authorization will cease. If a new Form I–129 is filed within 30 days, the professional athlete's employment authorization will continue until the petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, employment authorization will cease;
(15) An international cultural exchange visitor (Q–1), according to § 214.2(q)(1) of this chapter. An alien may only be employed by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained;
(16) An alien having a religious occupation, pursuant to § 214.2(r) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by the religious organization through whom the status was obtained;
(17) Officers and personnel of the armed services of nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and representatives, officials, and staff employees of NATO (NATO–1, NATO–2, NATO–3, NATO–4, NATO–5 and NATO–6), pursuant to § 214.2(o) of this chapter. An alien in this status may be employed only by NATO;
(18) An attendant, servant or personal employee (NATO–7) of an alien admitted as a NATO–1, NATO–2, NATO–3, NATO–4, NATO–5, or NATO–6, pursuant to § 214.2(o) of this chapter. An alien admitted under this classification may be employed only by the NATO alien through whom the status was obtained;
(19) A nonimmigrant pursuant to section 214(e) of the Act. An alien in this status must be engaged in business activities at a professional level in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 16 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA);
(20) A nonimmigrant alien within the class of aliens described in paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(5), (b)(8), (b)(9), (b)(10), (b)(11), (b)(12), (b)(13), (b)(14), (b)(16), (b)(19), (b)(23) and (b)(25) of this section whose status has expired but on whose behalf an application for an extension of stay was timely filed pursuant to § 214.2 or § 214.6 of this chapter. These aliens are authorized to continue employment with the same employer for a period not to exceed 240 days beginning on the date of the expiration of the authorized period of stay. Such authorization shall be subject to any conditions and limitations noted on the initial authorization. However, if the district director or service center director adjudicates the application prior to the expiration of this 240 day period and denies the application for extension of stay, the employment authorization under this paragraph shall automatically terminate upon notification of the denial decision;
(21) A nonimmigrant alien within the class of aliens described in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(1)(ii)(C) who filed an application for an extension of stay pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2 during his or her period of admission. Such alien is authorized to be employed by a new employer that has filed an H–2A petition naming the alien as a beneficiary and requesting an extension of stay for the alien for a period not to exceed 120 days beginning from the “Received Date” on Form I–797 (Notice of Action) acknowledging receipt of the petition requesting an extension of stay, provided that the employer has enrolled in and is a participant in good standing in the E–Verify program, as determined by USCIS in its discretion. Such authorization will be subject to any conditions and limitations noted on the initial authorization, except as to the employer and place of employment. However, if the District Director or Service Center director adjudicates the application prior to the expiration of this 120–day period and denies the application for extension of stay, the employment authorization under this paragraph (b)(21) shall automatically terminate upon 15 days after the date of the denial decision. The employment authorization shall also terminate automatically if the employer fails to remain a participant in good standing in the E–Verify program, as determined by USCIS in its discretion;
(22) An alien in E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrant status pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(e)(23). An alien in this status may be employed only by the qualifying company through which the alien attained the status. An alien in E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrant status may be employed only in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a qualifying entity. An alien who attained E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrant status based upon a Foreign Retiree Investment Certificate or Certification is not employment-authorized. Employment authorization does not extend to the dependents of the principal investor (also designated E–2 CNMI Investor nonimmigrants) other than those specified in paragraph (c)(12) of this section;
(23) A Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands transitional worker (CW–1) pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(w). An alien in this status may be employed only in the CNMI during the transition period, and only by the petitioner through whom the status was obtained, or as otherwise authorized by 8 CFR 214.2(w). An alien who is lawfully present in the CNMI (as defined by 8 CFR 214.2(w)(1)(v)) on or before November 27, 2011, is authorized to be employed in the CNMI, and is so employed in the CNMI by an employer properly filing an application under 8 CFR 214.2(w)(14)(ii) on or before such date for a grant of CW–1 status to its employee in the CNMI for the purpose of the alien continuing the employment, is authorized to continue such employment on or after November 27, 2011, until a decision is made on the application;
(24) An alien who is authorized to be employed in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a period of up to 2 years following the transition program effective date, under section 6(e)(2) of Public Law 94–241, as added by section 702(a) of Public Law 110–229. Such alien is only authorized to continue in the same employment that he or she had on the transition program effective date as defined in 8 CFR 1.1 until the earlier of the date that is 2 years after the transition program effective date or the date of expiration of the alien's employment authorization, unless the alien had unrestricted employment authorization or was otherwise authorized as of the transition program effective date to change employers, in which case the alien may have such employment privileges as were authorized as of the transition program effective date for up to 2 years;
(25) A nonimmigrant treaty alien in a specialty occupation (E–3) pursuant to section 101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of the Act; or
(26) to (36) [Reserved]
(37) An alien paroled into the United States as an entrepreneur pursuant to 8 CFR 212.19 for the period of authorized parole. An entrepreneur who has timely filed a non-frivolous application requesting re-parole with respect to the same start-up entity in accordance with 8 CFR 212.19 prior to the expiration of his or her parole, but whose authorized parole period expires during the pendency of such application, is authorized to continue employment with the same start-up entity for a period not to exceed 240 days beginning on the date of expiration of parole. Such authorization shall be subject to any conditions and limitations on such expired parole. If DHS adjudicates the application prior to the expiration of this 240–day period and denies the application for re-parole, the employment authorization under this paragraph shall automatically terminate upon notification to the alien of the denial decision.
(c) Aliens who must apply for employment authorization. An alien within a class of aliens described in this section must apply for work authorization. If authorized, such an alien may accept employment subject to any restrictions stated in the regulations or cited on the employment authorization document. USCIS, in its discretion, may establish a specific validity period for an employment authorization document, which may include any period when an administrative appeal or judicial review of an application or petition is pending.
(1) An alien spouse or unmarried dependent child; son or daughter of a foreign government official (A–1 or A–2) pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(a)(2) and who presents an endorsement from an authorized representative of the Department of State;
(2) An alien spouse or unmarried dependent son or daughter of an alien employee of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (E–1) pursuant to § 214.2(e) of this chapter;
(3) A nonimmigrant (F–1) student who:
(i)(A) Is seeking pre-completion practical training pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A)(1) and (2);
(B) Is seeking authorization to engage in up to 12 months of post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(A)(3); or
(C) Is seeking a 24–month OPT extension pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f)(10)(ii)(C);
(ii) Has been offered employment under the sponsorship of an international organization within the meaning of the International Organization Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669) and who presents a written certification from the international organization that the proposed employment is within the scope of the organization's sponsorship. The F–1 student must also present a Form I–20 ID or SEVIS Form I–20 with employment page completed by DSO certifying eligibility for employment; or
(iii) Is seeking employment because of severe economic hardship pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(f)(9)(ii)(C) and has filed the Form I–20 ID and Form I–538 (for non–SEVIS schools), or SEVIS Form I–20 with employment page completed by the DSO certifying eligibility, and any other supporting materials such as affidavits which further detail the unforeseen economic circumstances that require the student to seek employment authorization.
(4) An alien spouse or unmarried dependent child; son or daughter of a foreign government official (G–1, G–3 or G–4) pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(g) and who presents an endorsement from an authorized representative of the Department of State;
(5) An alien spouse or minor child of an exchange visitor (J–2) pursuant to § 214.2(j) of this chapter;
(6) A nonimmigrant (M–1) student seeking employment for practical training pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(m) following completion of studies. The alien may be employed only in an occupation or vocation directly related to his or her course of study as recommended by the endorsement of the designated school official on the I–20 ID;
(7) A dependent of an alien classified as NATO–1 through NATO–7 pursuant to § 214.2(n) of this chapter;
(8) An alien who has filed a complete application for asylum or withholding of deportation or removal pursuant to 8 CFR part 208, whose application:
(i) Has not been decided, and who is eligible to apply for employment authorization under § 208.7 of this chapter because the 150-day period set forth in that section has expired. Employment authorization may be granted according to the provisions of § 208.7 of this chapter in increments to be determined by the Commissioner and shall expire on a specified date; or
(ii) Has been recommended for approval, but who has not yet received a grant of asylum or withholding or deportation or removal;
(9) An alien who has filed an application for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident pursuant to part 245 of this chapter. For purposes of section 245(c)(8) of the Act, an alien will not be deemed to be an “unauthorized alien” as defined in section 274A(h)(3) of the Act while his or her properly filed Form I–485 application is pending final adjudication, if the alien has otherwise obtained permission from the Service pursuant to 8 CFR 274a.12 to engage in employment, or if the alien had been granted employment authorization prior to the filing of the adjustment application and such authorization does not expire during the pendency of the adjustment application. Upon meeting these conditions, the adjustment applicant need not file an application for employment authorization to continue employment during the period described in the preceding sentence;
(10) An alien who has filed an application for suspension of deportation under section 244 of the Act (as it existed prior to April 1, 1997), cancellation of removal pursuant to section 240A of the Act, or special rule cancellation of removal under section 309(f)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, enacted as Pub.L. 104–208 (110 Stat. 3009–625) (as amended by the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA)), title II of Pub.L. 105–100 (111 Stat. 2160, 2193) and whose properly filed application has been accepted by the Service or EOIR;
<Text of subsection (c)(11) effective until March 14, 2018.>
(11) An alien paroled into the United States temporarily for emergency reasons or reasons deemed strictly in the public interest pursuant to § 212.5 of this chapter;
<Text of subsection (c)(11) effective March 14, 2018.>
(11) Except as provided in paragraphs (b)(37) and (c)(34) of this section and § 212.19(h)(4) of this chapter, an alien paroled into the United States temporarily for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit pursuant to section 212(d)(5) of the Act.
(12) An alien spouse of a long-term investor in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (E–2 CNMI Investor) other than an E–2 CNMI investor who obtained such status based upon a Foreign Retiree Investment Certificate, pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(e)(23). An alien spouse of an E–2 CNMI Investor is eligible for employment in the CNMI only;
(13) [Reserved]
(14) An alien who has been granted deferred action, an act of administrative convenience to the government which gives some cases lower priority, if the alien establishes an economic necessity for employment;
(15) [Reserved]
(16) Any alien who has filed an application for creation of record of lawful admission for permanent residence pursuant to part 249 of this chapter;
(17) A nonimmigrant visitor for business (B–1) who:
(i) Is a personal or domestic servant who is accompanying or following to join an employer who seeks admission into, or is already in, the United States as a nonimmigrant defined under sections 101(a)(15)(B), (E), (F), (H), (I), (J), (L) or section 214(e) of the Act. The personal or domestic servant shall have a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of abandoning and shall demonstrate at least one year's experience as a personal or domestic servant. The nonimmigrant's employer shall demonstrate that the employer/employee relationship has existed for at least one year prior to the employer's admission to the United States; or, if the employer/employee relationship existed for less than one year, that the employer has regularly employed (either year-round or seasonally) personal or domestic servants over a period of several years preceding the employer's admission to the United States;
(ii) Is a domestic servant of a United States citizen accompanying or following to join his or her United States citizen employer who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, and who is visiting temporarily in the United States. The employer/employee relationship shall have existed prior to the commencement of the employer's visit to the United States; or
(iii) Is an employee of a foreign airline engaged in international transportation of passengers freight, whose position with the foreign airline would otherwise entitle the employee to classification under section 101(a)(15)(E)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and who is precluded from such classification solely because the employee is not a national of the country of the airline's nationality or because there is no treaty of commerce and navigation in effect between the United States and the country of the airline's nationality.
(18) An alien against whom a final order of deportation or removal exists and who is released on an order of supervision under the authority contained in section 241(a)(3) of the Act may be granted employment authorization in the discretion of the district director only if the alien cannot be removed due to the refusal of all countries designated by the alien or under section 241 of the Act to receive the alien, or because the removal of the alien is otherwise impracticable or contrary to the public interest. Additional factors which may be considered by the district director in adjudicating the application for employment authorization include, but are not limited to, the following:
(i) The existence of economic necessity to be employed;
(ii) The existence of a dependent spouse and/or children in the United States who rely on the alien for support; and
(iii) The anticipated length of time before the alien can be removed from the United States.
(19) An alien applying for Temporary Protected Status pursuant to section 244 of the Act shall apply for employment authorization only in accordance with the procedures set forth in part 244 of this chapter.
(20) Any alien who has filed a completed legalization application pursuant to section 210 of the Act (and part 210 of this chapter).
(21) A principal nonimmigrant witness or informant in S classification, and qualified dependent family members.
(22) Any alien who has filed a completed legalization application pursuant to section 245A of the Act (and part 245a of this chapter). Employment authorization shall be granted in increments not exceeding 1 year during the period the application is pending (including any period when an administrative appeal is pending) and shall expire on a specified date.
(23) [Reserved by 76 FR 53796]
(24) An alien who has filed an application for adjustment pursuant to section 1104 of the LIFE Act, Public Law 106–553, and the provisions of 8 CFR part 245a, Subpart B of this chapter.
(25) Any alien in T–2, T–3, T–4, T–5, or T–6 nonimmigrant status, pursuant to 8 CFR 214.11, for the period in that status, as evidenced by an employment authorization document issued by USCIS to the alien.
(26) An H–4 nonimmigrant spouse of an H–1B nonimmigrant described as eligible for employment authorization in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(9)(iv).
(27) to (33) [Reserved]
<Text of subsection (c)(34) added by 82 FR 5289, effective March 14, 2018, as amended by 82 FR 31887.>
(34) A spouse of an entrepreneur parolee described as eligible for employment authorization in § 212.19(h)(3) of this chapter.
(35) An alien who is the principal beneficiary of a valid immigrant petition under section 203(b)(1), 203(b)(2) or 203(b)(3) of the Act described as eligible for employment authorization in 8 CFR 204.5(p).
(36) A spouse or child of a principal beneficiary of a valid immigrant petition under section 203(b)(1), 203(b)(2) or 203(b)(3) of the Act described as eligible for employment authorization in 8 CFR 204.5(p).
(d) An alien lawfully enlisted in one of the Armed Forces, or whose enlistment the Secretary with jurisdiction over such Armed Force has determined would be vital to the national interest under 10 U.S.C. 504(b)(2), is authorized to be employed by that Armed Force in military service, if such employment is not otherwise authorized under this section and the immigration laws. An alien described in this section is not issued an employment authorization document.
(e) Basic criteria to establish economic necessity. Title 45—Public Welfare, Poverty Guidelines, 45 CFR 1060.2 should be used as the basic criteria to establish eligibility for employment authorization when the alien's economic necessity is identified as a factor. The alien shall submit an application for employment authorization listing his or her assets, income, and expenses as evidence of his or her economic need to work. Permission to work granted on the basis of the alien's application for employment authorization may be revoked under § 274a.14 of this chapter upon a showing that the information contained in the statement was not true and correct.

8 CFR § 1240.11- Ancillary matters, applications

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

§ 1240.11 Ancillary matters, applications.

(a) Creation of the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

(1) In a removal proceeding, an alien may apply to the immigration judge for cancellation of removal under section 240A of the Act, adjustment of status under section 1 of the Act of November 2, 1966 (as modified by section 606 of Pub.L. 104–208), section 101 or 104 of the Act of October 28, 1977, section 202 of Pub.L. 105–100, or section 902 of Pub.L. 105–277, or for the creation of a record of lawful admission for permanent residence under section 249 of the Act. The application shall be subject to the requirements of § 1240.20, and 8 CFR parts 1245 and 1249. The approval of any application made to the immigration judge under section 245 of the Act by an alien spouse (as defined in section 216(g)(1) of the Act) or by an alien entrepreneur (as defined in section 216A(f)(1) of the Act) shall result in the alien's obtaining the status of lawful permanent resident on a conditional basis in accordance with the provisions of section 216 or 216A of the Act, whichever is applicable. However, the Petition to Remove the Conditions on Residence required by section 216(c) of the Act, or the Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions required by section 216A(c) of the Act shall be made to the director in accordance with 8 CFR part 1216.

(2) In conjunction with any application for creation of status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence made to an immigration judge, if the alien is inadmissible under any provision of section 212(a) of the Act, and believes that he or she meets the eligibility requirements for a waiver of the ground of inadmissibility, he or she may apply to the immigration judge for such waiver. The immigration judge shall inform the alien of his or her apparent eligibility to apply for any of the benefits enumerated in this chapter and shall afford the alien an opportunity to make application during the hearing, in accordance with the provisions of § 1240.8(d). In a relevant case, the immigration judge may adjudicate the sufficiency of an Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A (Form I–864), executed on behalf of an applicant for admission or for adjustment of status, in accordance with the provisions of section 213A of the Act and 8 CFR part 213a.

(3) In exercising discretionary power when considering an application for status as a permanent resident under this chapter, the immigration judge may consider and base the decision on information not contained in the record and not made available for inspection by the alien, provided the Commissioner has determined that such information is relevant and is classified under the applicable Executive Order as requiring protection from unauthorized disclosure in the interest of national security. Whenever the immigration judge believes that he or she can do so while safeguarding both the information and its source, the immigration judge should inform the alien of the general nature of the information in order that the alien may have an opportunity to offer opposing evidence. A decision based in whole or in part on such classified information shall state that the information is material to the decision.

(b) Voluntary departure. The alien may apply to the immigration judge for voluntary departure in lieu of removal pursuant to section 240B of the Act and subpart C of this part. The immigration judge shall advise the alien of the consequences of filing a post-decision motion to reopen or reconsider prior to the expiration of the time specified by the immigration judge for the alien to depart voluntarily.

(c) Applications for asylum and withholding of removal.

(1) If the alien expresses fear of persecution or harm upon return to any of the countries to which the alien might be removed pursuant to § 1240.10(f), and the alien has not previously filed an application for asylum or withholding of removal that has been referred to the immigration judge by an asylum officer in accordance with § 1208.14 of this chapter, the immigration judge shall:

(i) Advise the alien that he or she may apply for asylum in the United States or withholding of removal to those countries;

(ii) Make available the appropriate application forms; and

(iii) Advise the alien of the privilege of being represented by counsel at no expense to the government and of the consequences, pursuant to section 208(d)(6) of the Act, of knowingly filing a frivolous application for asylum. The immigration judge shall provide to the alien a list of persons who have indicated their availability to represent aliens in asylum proceedings on a pro bono basis.

(2) An application for asylum or withholding of removal must be filed with the Immigration Court, pursuant to § 1208.4(b) of this chapter. Upon receipt of an application, the Immigration Court may forward a copy to the Department of State pursuant to § 1208.11 of this chapter and shall calendar the case for a hearing. The reply, if any, from the Department of State, unless classified under an applicable Executive Order, shall be given to both the alien and to DHS counsel and shall be included in the record.

(3) Applications for asylum and withholding of removal so filed will be decided by the immigration judge pursuant to the requirements and standards established in 8 CFR part 1208 of this chapter after an evidentiary hearing to resolve factual issues in dispute. An evidentiary hearing extending beyond issues related to the basis for a mandatory denial of the application pursuant to § 1208.14 or § 1208.16 of this chapter is not necessary once the immigration judge has determined that such a denial is required.

(i) Evidentiary hearings on applications for asylum or withholding of removal will be open to the public unless the alien expressly requests that the hearing be closed pursuant to § 3.27 of this chapter. The immigration judge shall inquire whether the alien requests such closure.

(ii) Nothing in this section is intended to limit the authority of the immigration judge to properly control the scope of any evidentiary hearing.

(iii) During the removal hearing, the alien shall be examined under oath on his or her application and may present evidence and witnesses in his or her own behalf. The alien has the burden of establishing that he or she is a refugee as defined in section 101(a)(42) of the Act pursuant to the standards set forth in § 1208.13 of this chapter.

(iv) Service counsel may call witnesses and present evidence for the record, including information classified under the applicable Executive Order, provided the immigration judge or the Board has determined that such information is relevant to the hearing. When the immigration judge receives such classified information, he or she shall inform the alien. The agency that provides the classified information to the immigration judge may provide an unclassified summary of the information for release to the alien, whenever it determines it can do so consistently with safeguarding both the classified nature of the information and its sources. The summary should be as detailed as possible, in order that the alien may have an opportunity to offer opposing evidence. A decision based in whole or in part on such classified information shall state whether such information is material to the decision.

(4) The decision of an immigration judge to grant or deny asylum or withholding of removal shall be communicated to the alien and to the Service counsel. An adverse decision shall state why asylum or withholding of removal was denied.

(d) Application for relief under sections 237(a)(1)(H) and 237(a)(1)(E)(iii) of the Act. The respondent may apply to the immigration judge for relief from removal under sections 237(a)(1)(H) and 237(a)(1)(E)(iii) of the Act.

(e) General. An application under this section shall be made only during the hearing and shall not be held to constitute a concession of alienage or deportability in any case in which the respondent does not admit his or her alienage or deportability. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit the Service from using information supplied in an application for asylum or withholding of deportation or removal submitted to the Service on or after January 4, 1995, as the basis for issuance of a charging document or to establish alienage or deportability in a case referred to an immigration judge under § 1208.14(b) of this chapter. The alien shall have the burden of establishing that he or she is eligible for any requested benefit or privilege and that it should be granted in the exercise of discretion. Nothing contained in this section is intended to foreclose the respondent from applying for any benefit or privilege that he or she believes himself or herself eligible to receive in proceedings under this part. Nothing in this section is intended to limit the Attorney General's authority to remove an alien to any country permitted by section 241(b) of the Act.

(f) Fees. The alien shall not be required to pay a fee on more than one application within paragraphs (a) and (c) of this section, provided that the minimum fee imposed when more than one application is made shall be determined by the cost of the application with the highest fee. When a motion to reopen or reconsider is made concurrently with an application for relief seeking one of the immigration benefits set forth in paragraphs (a) and (c) of this section, only the fee set forth in § 103.7(b)(1) of 8 CFR chapter I for the motion must accompany the motion and application for relief. If such a motion is granted, the appropriate fee for the application for relief, if any, set forth in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1), must be paid within the time specified in order to complete the application.

(g) Safe third country agreement.

(1) The immigration judge has authority to apply section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act, relating to a determination that an alien may be removed to a safe third country pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement (Agreement), in the case of an alien who is subject to the terms of the Agreement and is placed in proceedings pursuant to section 240 of the Act. In an appropriate case, the immigration judge shall determine whether under the Agreement the alien should be returned to the safe third country, or whether the alien should be permitted to pursue asylum or other protection claims in the United States.

(2) An alien described in paragraph (g)(1) of this section is ineligible to apply for asylum, pursuant to section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act, unless the immigration judge determines, by preponderance of the evidence, that:

(i) The Agreement does not apply to the alien or does not preclude the alien from applying for asylum in the United States; or

(ii) The alien qualifies for an exception to the Agreement as set forth in paragraph (g)(3) of this section.

(3) The immigration judge shall apply the applicable regulations in deciding whether the alien qualifies for any exception under the Agreement that would permit the United States to exercise authority over the alien's asylum claim. The exceptions under the Agreement are codified at 8 CFR 208.30(e)(6)(iii). The immigration judge shall not review, consider, or decide any issues pertaining to any discretionary determination on whether the alien should be permitted to pursue an asylum claim in the United States notwithstanding the general terms of the Agreement, as such discretionary public interest determinations are reserved to DHS. However, an alien in removal proceedings who is otherwise ineligible to apply for asylum under the Agreement may apply for asylum if DHS files a written notice in the proceedings before the immigration judge that it has decided in the public interest to allow the alien to pursue claims for asylum or withholding of removal in the United States.

(4) An alien who is found to be ineligible to apply for asylum under section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act is ineligible to apply for withholding of removal pursuant to section 241(b)(3) of the Act and the Convention against Torture. However, the alien may apply for any other relief from removal for which the alien may be eligible. If an alien who is subject to section 208(a)(2)(A) of the Act is ordered removed, the alien shall be ordered removed to the safe third country in which the alien will be able to pursue his or her claims for asylum or protection against persecution or torture under the laws of that country.

Title 27 - Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms

27 C.F.R. § 478.11 - Meaning of terms.

When used in this part and in forms prescribed under this part, where not otherwise distinctly expressed or manifestly incompatible with the intent thereof, terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this section. Words in the plural form shall include the singular, and vice versa, and words importing the masculine gender shall include the feminine. The terms “includes” and “including” do not exclude other things not enumerated which are in the same general class or are otherwise within the scope thereof.
Act. 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.
Adjudicated as a mental defective. (a) A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(b) The term shall include—
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles 50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a, 876b.
Admitted to the United States for lawful hunting or sporting purposes. (a) Is entering the United States to participate in a competitive target shooting event sponsored by a national, State, or local organization, devoted to the competitive use or other sporting use of firearms; or
(b) Is entering the United States to display firearms at a sports or hunting trade show sponsored by a national, State, or local firearms trade organization, devoted to the competitive use or other sporting use of firearms.
Alien. Any person not a citizen or national of the United States.
Alien illegally or unlawfully in the United States. Aliens who are unlawfully in the United States are not in valid immigrant, nonimmigrant or parole status. The term includes any alien—
(a) Who unlawfully entered the United States without inspection and authorization by an immigration officer and who has not been paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);
(b) Who is a nonimmigrant and whose authorized period of stay has expired or who has violated the terms of the nonimmigrant category in which he or she was admitted;
(c) Paroled under INA section 212(d)(5) whose authorized period of parole has expired or whose parole status has been terminated; or
(d) Under an order of deportation, exclusion, or removal, or under an order to depart the United States voluntarily, whether or not he or she has left the United States.
Ammunition. Ammunition or cartridge cases, primers, bullets, or propellent powder designed for use in any firearm other than an antique firearm. The term shall not include (a) any shotgun shot or pellet not designed for use as the single, complete projectile load for one shotgun hull or casing, nor (b) any unloaded, non-metallic shotgun hull or casing not having a primer.
Antique firearm. (a) Any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and (b) any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (a) of this definition if such replica (1) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (2) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
Armor piercing ammunition. Projectiles or projectile cores which may be used in a handgun and which are constructed entirely (excluding the presence of traces of other substances) from one or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or depleted uranium; or full jacketed projectiles larger than .22 caliber designed and intended for use in a handgun and whose jacket has a weight of more than 25 percent of the total weight of the projectile. The term does not include shotgun shot required by Federal or State environmental or game regulations for hunting purposes, frangible projectiles designed for target shooting, projectiles which the Director finds are primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes, or any other projectiles or projectile cores which the Director finds are intended to be used for industrial purposes, including charges used in oil and gas well perforating devices.
ATF officer. An officer or employee of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) authorized to perform any function relating to the administration or enforcement of this part.
Business premises. The property on which the manufacturing or importing of firearms or ammunition or the dealing in firearms is or will be conducted. A private dwelling, no part of which is open to the public, shall not be recognized as coming within the meaning of the term.
Chief, Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC). The ATF official responsible for the issuance and renewal of licenses under this part.
Collector. Any person who acquires, holds, or disposes of firearms as curios or relics.
Collection premises. The premises described on the license of a collector as the location at which he maintains his collection of curios and relics.
Commerce. Travel, trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication among the several States, or between the District of Columbia and any State, or between any foreign country or any territory or possession and any State or the District of Columbia, or between points in the same State but through any other State or the District of Columbia or a foreign country.
Committed to a mental institution. A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.
Controlled substance. A drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act, 21 U.S.C. 802. The term includes, but is not limited to, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, and narcotic drugs. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco, as those terms are defined or used in Subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
Crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year. Any Federal, State or foreign offense for which the maximum penalty, whether or not imposed, is capital punishment or imprisonment in excess of 1 year. The term shall not include (a) any Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust violations, unfair trade practices, restraints of trade, or other similar offenses relating to the regulation of business practices or (b) any State offense classified by the laws of the State as a misdemeanor and punishable by a term of imprisonment of 2 years or less. What constitutes a conviction of such a crime shall be determined in accordance with the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held. Any conviction which has been expunged or set aside or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored shall not be considered a conviction for the purposes of the Act or this part, unless such pardon, expunction, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms, or unless the person is prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held from receiving or possessing any firearms.
Curios or relics. Firearms which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons. To be recognized as curios or relics, firearms must fall within one of the following categories:
(a) Firearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;
(b) Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and
(c) Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.
Customs officer. Any officer of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the Coast Guard, or any agent or other person authorized by law to perform the duties of a customs officer.
Dealer. Any person engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail; any person engaged in the business of repairing firearms or of making or fitting special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms; or any person who is a pawnbroker. The term shall include any person who engages in such business or occupation on a part-time basis.
Destructive device. (a) Any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas (1) bomb, (2) grenade, (3) rocket having a propellant charge of more than 4 ounces, (4) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (5) mine, or (6) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding paragraphs of this definition; (b) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Director finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter; and (c) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into any destructive device described in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signalling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10, United States Code; or any other device which the Director finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, is an antique, or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting, recreational, or cultural purposes.
Director. The Director, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
Director of Industry Operations. The principal ATF official in a Field Operations division responsible for administering regulations in this part.
Discharged under dishonorable conditions. Separation from the U.S. Armed Forces resulting from a dishonorable discharge or dismissal adjudged by a general court-martial. The term does not include any separation from the Armed Forces resulting from any other discharge, e.g., a bad conduct discharge.
Division. A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Division.
Engaged in the business—(a) Manufacturer of firearms. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured;
(b) Manufacturer of ammunition. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition manufactured;
(c) Dealer in firearms other than a gunsmith or a pawnbroker. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such a term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms;
(d) Gunsmith. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such a term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms;
(e) Importer of firearms. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms imported; and,
(f) Importer of ammunition. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to importing ammunition as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the ammunition imported.
Executed under penalties of perjury. Signed with the prescribed declaration under the penalties of perjury as provided on or with respect to the return form, or other document or, where no form of declaration is prescribed, with the declaration:
“I declare under the penalties of perjury that this—(insert type of document, such as, statement, application, request, certificate), including the documents submitted in support thereof, has been examined by me and, to the best of my knowledge and belief, is true, correct, and complete.”
Federal Firearms Act. 15 U.S.C. Chapter 18.
Firearm. Any weapon, including a starter gun, which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive; the frame or receiver of any such weapon; any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or any destructive device; but the term shall not include an antique firearm. In the case of a licensed collector, the term shall mean only curios and relics.
Firearm frame or receiver. That part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel.
Firearm muffler or firearm silencer. Any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
Friendly foreign government. Any government with whom the United States has diplomatic relations and whom the United States has not identified as a State sponsor of terrorism.
Fugitive from justice. Any person who has fled from any State to avoid prosecution for a felony or a misdemeanor; or any person who leaves the State to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding. The term also includes any person who knows that misdemeanor or felony charges are pending against such person and who leaves the State of prosecution.
Handgun. (a) Any firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and
(b) Any combination of parts from which a firearm described in paragraph (a) can be assembled.
Hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States. A license or permit issued by a State for hunting which is valid and unexpired.
Identification document. A document containing the name, residence address, date of birth, and photograph of the holder and which was made or issued by or under the authority of the United States Government, a State, political subdivision of a State, a foreign government, political subdivision of a foreign government, an international governmental or an international quasi- governmental organization which, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is of a type intended or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals.
Importation. The bringing of a firearm or ammunition into the United States; except that the bringing of a firearm or ammunition from outside the United States into a foreign-trade zone for storage pending shipment to a foreign country or subsequent importation into this country, pursuant to this part, shall not be deemed importation.
Importer. Any person engaged in the business of importing or bringing firearms or ammunition into the United States. The term shall include any person who engages in such business on a part-time basis.
Indictment. Includes an indictment or information in any court, under which a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year (as defined in this section) may be prosecuted, or in military cases to any offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year which has been referred to a general court-martial. An information is a formal accusation of a crime, differing from an indictment in that it is made by a prosecuting attorney and not a grand jury.
Interstate or foreign commerce. Includes commerce between any place in a State and any place outside of that State, or within any possession of the United States (not including the Canal Zone) or the District of Columbia. The term shall not include commerce between places within the same State but through any place outside of that State.
Intimate partner. With respect to a person, the spouse of the person, a former spouse of the person, an individual who is a parent of a child of the person, and an individual who cohabitates or has cohabitated with the person.
Large capacity ammunition feeding device. A magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device for a firearm manufactured after September 13, 1994, that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The term does not include an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition, or a fixed device for a manually operated firearm, or a fixed device for a firearm listed in 18 U.S.C. 922, appendix A.
Licensed collector. A collector of curios and relics only and licensed under the provisions of this part.
Licensed dealer. A dealer licensed under the provisions of this part.
Licensed importer. An importer licensed under the provisions of this part.
Licensed manufacturer. A manufacturer licensed under the provisions of this part.
Machine gun. Any weapon which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger. The term shall also include the frame or receiver of any such weapon, any part designed and intended solely and exclusively, or combination of parts designed and intended, for use in converting a weapon into a machine gun, and any combination of parts from which a machine gun can be assembled if such parts are in the possession or under the control of a person.
Manufacturer. Any person engaged in the business of manufacturing firearms or ammunition. The term shall include any person who engages in such business on a part-time basis.
Mental institution. Includes mental health facilities, mental hospitals, sanitariums, psychiatric facilities, and other facilities that provide diagnoses by licensed professionals of mental retardation or mental illness, including a psychiatric ward in a general hospital.
Misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. (a) Is a Federal, State or local offense that:
(1) Is a misdemeanor under Federal or State law or, in States which do not classify offenses as misdemeanors, is an offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or less, and includes offenses that are punishable only by a fine. (This is true whether or not the State statute specifically defines the offense as a “misdemeanor” or as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.” The term includes all such misdemeanor convictions in Indian Courts established pursuant to 25 CFR part 11.);
(2) Has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force (e.g., assault and battery), or the threatened use of a deadly weapon; and
(3) Was committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian, (e.g., the equivalent of a “common law” marriage even if such relationship is not recognized under the law), or a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim (e.g., two persons who are residing at the same location in an intimate relationship with the intent to make that place their home would be similarly situated to a spouse).
(b) A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this part unless:
(1) The person is considered to have been convicted by the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held.
(2) The person was represented by counsel in the case, or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel in the case; and
(3) In the case of a prosecution for which a person was entitled to a jury trial in the jurisdiction in which the case was tried, either
(i) The case was tried by a jury, or
(ii) The person knowingly and intelligently waived the right to have the case tried by a jury, by guilty plea or otherwise.
(c) A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this part if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held provides for the loss of civil rights upon conviction for such an offense) unless the pardon, expunction, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms, and the person is not otherwise prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held from receiving or possessing any firearms.
National Firearms Act. 26 U.S.C. Chapter 53.
NICS. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System established by the Attorney General pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(t).
Nonimmigrant alien. An alien in the United States in a nonimmigrant classification as defined by section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)).
Nonimmigrant visa. A visa properly issued to an alien as an eligible nonimmigrant by a competent officer as provided in the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.
Pawnbroker. Any person whose business or occupation includes the taking or receiving, by way of pledge or pawn, of any firearm as security for the payment or repayment of money. The term shall include any person who engages in such business on a part-time basis.
Permanently inoperable. A firearm which is incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition. An acceptable method of rendering most firearms permanently inoperable is to fusion weld the chamber closed and fusion weld the barrel solidly to the frame. Certain unusual firearms require other methods to render the firearm permanently inoperable. Contact ATF for instructions.
Person. Any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, partnership, society, or joint stock company.
Pistol. A weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand, and having (a) a chamber(s) as an integral part(s) of, or permanently aligned with, the bore(s); and (b) a short stock designed to be gripped by one hand and at an angle to and extending below the line of the bore(s).
Principal objective of livelihood and profit. The intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other intents such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection: Provided, That proof of profit shall not be required as to a person who engages in the regular and repetitive purchase and disposition of firearms for criminal purposes or terrorism. For purposes of this part, the term “terrorism” means activity, directed against United States persons, which—
(a) Is committed by an individual who is not a national or permanent resident alien of the United States;
(b) Involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life which would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States; and
(c) Is intended—
(1) To intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(2) To influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(3) To affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.
Published ordinance. A published law of any political subdivision of a State which the Director determines to be relevant to the enforcement of this part and which is contained on a list compiled by the Director, which list is incorporated by reference in the Federal Register, revised annually, and furnished to licensees under this part.
Renounced U.S. citizenship. (a) A person has renounced his U.S. citizenship if the person, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced citizenship either—
(1) Before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5); or
(2) Before an officer designated by the Attorney General when the United States is in a state of war pursuant to 8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(6).
(b) The term shall not include any renunciation of citizenship that has been reversed as a result of administrative or judicial appeal.
Revolver. A projectile weapon, of the pistol type, having a breechloading chambered cylinder so arranged that the cocking of the hammer or movement of the trigger rotates it and brings the next cartridge in line with the barrel for firing.
Rifle. A weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.
Semiautomatic assault weapon. (a) Any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as:
(1) Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models),
(2) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil,
(3) Beretta Ar70 (SC–70),
(4) Colt AR–15,
(5) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, and FNC,
(6) SWD M–10, M–11, M–11/9, and M–12,
(7) Steyr AUG,
(8) INTRATEC TEC–9, TEC–DC9 and TEC–22, and
(9) Revolving cylinder shotguns, such as (or similar to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12;
(b) A semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of—
(1) A folding or telescoping stock,
(2) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon,
(3) A bayonet mount,
(4) A flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor, and
(5) A grenade launcher;
(c) A semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of—
(1) An ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip,
(2) A threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer,
(3) A shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned,
(4) A manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded, and
(5) A semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and
(d) A semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of—
(1) A folding or telescoping stock,
(2) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon,
(3) A fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds, and
(4) An ability to accept a detachable magazine.
Semiautomatic pistol. Any repeating pistol which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.
Semiautomatic rifle. Any repeating rifle which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.
Semiautomatic shotgun. Any repeating shotgun which utilizes a portion of the energy of a firing cartridge to extract the fired cartridge case and chamber the next round, and which requires a separate pull of the trigger to fire each cartridge.
Short-barreled rifle. A rifle having one or more barrels less than 16 inches in length, and any weapon made from a rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such weapon, as modified, has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
Short-barreled shotgun. A shotgun having one or more barrels less than 18 inches in length, and any weapon made from a shotgun, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if such weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.
Shotgun. A weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder, and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.
State. A State of the United States. The term shall include the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the possessions of the United States (not including the Canal Zone).
State of residence. The State in which an individual resides. An individual resides in a State if he or she is present in a State with the intention of making a home in that State. If an individual is on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces, the individual's State of residence is the State in which his or her permanent duty station is located, as stated in 18 U.S.C. 921(b). The following are examples that illustrate this definition:
Example 1. A maintains a home in State X. A travels to State Y on a hunting, fishing, business, or other type of trip. A does not become a resident of State Y by reason of such trip.
Example 2. A maintains a home in State X and a home in State Y. A resides in State X except for weekends or the summer months of the year and in State Y for the weekends or the summer months of the year. During the time that A actually resides in State X, A is a resident of State X, and during the time that A actually resides in State Y, A is a resident of State Y.
Example 3. A, an alien, travels to the United States on a three-week vacation to State X. A does not have a state of residence in State X because A does not have the intention of making a home in State X while on vacation. This is true regardless of the length of the vacation.
Example 4. A, an alien, travels to the United States to work for three years in State X. A rents a home in State X, moves his personal possessions into the home, and his family resides with him in the home. A intends to reside in State X during the 3–year period of his employment. A is a resident of State X.
Unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance. A person who uses a controlled substance and has lost the power of self-control with reference to the use of controlled substance; and any person who is a current user of a controlled substance in a manner other than as prescribed by a licensed physician. Such use is not limited to the use of drugs on a particular day, or within a matter of days or weeks before, but rather that the unlawful use has occurred recently enough to indicate that the individual is actively engaged in such conduct. A person may be an unlawful current user of a controlled substance even though the substance is not being used at the precise time the person seeks to acquire a firearm or receives or possesses a firearm. An inference of current use may be drawn from evidence of a recent use or possession of a controlled substance or a pattern of use or possession that reasonably covers the present time, e.g., a conviction for use or possession of a controlled substance within the past year; multiple arrests for such offenses within the past 5 years if the most recent arrest occurred within the past year; or persons found through a drug test to use a controlled substance unlawfully, provided that the test was administered within the past year. For a current or former member of the Armed Forces, an inference of current use may be drawn from recent disciplinary or other administrative action based on confirmed drug use, e.g., court-martial conviction, nonjudicial punishment, or an administrative discharge based on drug use or drug rehabilitation failure.
Unserviceable firearm. A firearm which is incapable of discharging a shot by means of an explosive and is incapable of being readily restored to a firing condition.
U.S.C. The United States Code.
(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a), 80 Stat. 383, as amended; 18 U.S.C. 847 (84 Stat. 959); 18 U.S.C. 926 (82 Stat. 1226))

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Immigration and Nationality Act

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

INA § 101 (8 USC § 1101)- Definitions

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

(a) As used in this chapter--

(1) The term “administrator” means the official designated by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 1104(b) of this title.

(2) The term “advocates” includes, but is not limited to, advises, recommends, furthers by overt act, and admits belief in.

(3) The term “alien” means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

(4) The term “application for admission” has reference to the application for admission into the United States and not to the application for the issuance of an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa.

(5) The term “Attorney General” means the Attorney General of the United States.

(6) The term “border crossing identification card” means a document of identity bearing that designation issued to an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or to an alien who is a resident in foreign contiguous territory, by a consular officer or an immigration officer for the purpose of crossing over the borders between the United States and foreign contiguous territory in accordance with such conditions for its issuance and use as may be prescribed by regulations. Such regulations shall provide that (A) each such document include a biometric identifier (such as the fingerprint or handprint of the alien) that is machine readable and (B) an alien presenting a border crossing identification card is not permitted to cross over the border into the United States unless the biometric identifier contained on the card matches the appropriate biometric characteristic of the alien.

(7) The term “clerk of court” means a clerk of a naturalization court.

(8) The terms “Commissioner” and “Deputy Commissioner” mean the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization and a Deputy Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization, respectively.

(9) The term “consular officer” means any consular, diplomatic, or other officer or employee of the United States designated under regulations prescribed under authority contained in this chapter, for the purpose of issuing immigrant or nonimmigrant visas or, when used in subchapter III of this chapter, for the purpose of adjudicating nationality.

(10) The term “crewman” means a person serving in any capacity on board a vessel or aircraft.

(11) The term “diplomatic visa” means a nonimmigrant visa bearing that title and issued to a nonimmigrant in accordance with such regulations as the Secretary of State may prescribe.

(12) The term “doctrine” includes, but is not limited to, policies, practices, purposes, aims, or procedures.

(13)(A) The terms “admission” and “admitted” mean, with respect to an alien, the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.

(B) An alien who is paroled under section 1182(d)(5) of this title or permitted to land temporarily as an alien crewman shall not be considered to have been admitted.

(C) An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States shall not be regarded as seeking an admission into the United States for purposes of the immigration laws unless the alien--

(i) has abandoned or relinquished that status,

(ii) has been absent from the United States for a continuous period in excess of 180 days,

(iii) has engaged in illegal activity after having departed the United States,

(iv) has departed from the United States while under legal process seeking removal of the alien from the United States, including removal proceedings under this chapter and extradition proceedings,

(v) has committed an offense identified in section 1182(a)(2) of this title, unless since such offense the alien has been granted relief under section 1182(h) or 1229b(a) of this title, or

(vi) is attempting to enter at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers or has not been admitted to the United States after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.

(14) The term “foreign state” includes outlying possessions of a foreign state, but self-governing dominions or territories under mandate or trusteeship shall be regarded as separate foreign states.

(15) The term “immigrant” means every alien except an alien who is within one of the following classes of nonimmigrant aliens--

(A)(i) an ambassador, public minister, or career diplomatic or consular officer who has been accredited by a foreign government, recognized de jure by the United States and who is accepted by the President or by the Secretary of State, and the members of the alien's immediate family;

(ii) upon a basis of reciprocity, other officials and employees who have been accredited by a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States, who are accepted by the Secretary of State, and the members of their immediate families; and

(iii) upon a basis of reciprocity, attendants, servants, personal employees, and members of their immediate families, of the officials and employees who have a nonimmigrant status under (i) and (ii) above;

(B) an alien (other than one coming for the purpose of study or of performing skilled or unskilled labor or as a representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media coming to engage in such vocation) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning and who is visiting the United States temporarily for business or temporarily for pleasure;

(C) an alien in immediate and continuous transit through the United States, or an alien who qualifies as a person entitled to pass in transit to and from the United Nations Headquarters District and foreign countries, under the provisions of paragraphs (3), (4), and (5) of section 11 of the Headquarters Agreement with the United Nations (61 Stat. 758);

(D)(i) an alien crewman serving in good faith as such in a capacity required for normal operation and service on board a vessel, as defined in section 1288(a) of this title (other than a fishing vessel having its home port or an operating base in the United States), or aircraft, who intends to land temporarily and solely in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from the United States with the vessel or aircraft on which he arrived or some other vessel or aircraft;

(ii) an alien crewman serving in good faith as such in any capacity required for normal operations and service aboard a fishing vessel having its home port or an operating base in the United States who intends to land temporarily in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and solely in pursuit of his calling as a crewman and to depart from Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands with the vessel on which he arrived;

(E) an alien entitled to enter the United States under and in pursuance of the provisions of a treaty of commerce and navigation between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national, and the spouse and children of any such alien if accompanying or following to join him; (i) solely to carry on substantial trade, including trade in services or trade in technology, principally between the United States and the foreign state of which he is a national; (ii) solely to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which he has invested, or of an enterprise in which he is actively in the process of investing, a substantial amount of capital; or (iii) solely to perform services in a specialty occupation in the United States if the alien is a national of the Commonwealth of Australia and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State that the intending employer has filed with the Secretary of Labor an attestation under section 1182(t)(1) of this title;

(F) (i) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study consistent with section 1184(l) of this title at an established college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in an accredited language training program in the United States, particularly designated by him and approved by the Attorney General after consultation with the Secretary of Education, which institution or place of study shall have agreed to report to the Attorney General the termination of attendance of each nonimmigrant student, and if any such institution of learning or place of study fails to make reports promptly the approval shall be withdrawn, (ii) the alien spouse and minor children of any alien described in clause (i) if accompanying or following to join such an alien, and (iii) an alien who is a national of Canada or Mexico, who maintains actual residence and place of abode in the country of nationality, who is described in clause (i) except that the alien's qualifications for and actual course of study may be full or part-time, and who commutes to the United States institution or place of study from Canada or Mexico;

(G)(i) a designated principal resident representative of a foreign government recognized de jure by the United States, which foreign government is a member of an international organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities as an international organization under the International Organizations Immunities Act (59 Stat. 669)[22 U.S.C.A. 288 et seq.], accredited resident members of the staff of such representatives, [FN1] and members of his or their immediate family;

(ii) other accredited representatives of such a foreign government to such international organizations, and the members of their immediate families;

(iii) an alien able to qualify under (i) or (ii) above except for the fact that the government of which such alien is an accredited representative is not recognized de jure by the United States, or that the government of which he is an accredited representative is not a member of such international organization; and the members of his immediate family;

(iv) officers, or employees of such international organizations, and the members of their immediate families;

(v) attendants, servants, and personal employees of any such representative, officer, or employee, and the members of the immediate families of such attendants, servants, and personal employees;

(H) an alien (i) (a) [Repealed. Pub.L. 106-95, § 2(c), Nov. 12, 1999, 113 Stat. 1316] (b) subject to section 1182(j)(2) of this title, who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform services (other than services described in subclause (a) during the period in which such subclause applies and other than services described in subclause (ii)(a) or in subparagraph (O) or (P)) in a specialty occupation described in section 1184(i)(1) of this title or as a fashion model, who meets the requirements for the occupation specified in section 1184(i)(2) of this title or, in the case of a fashion model, is of distinguished merit and ability, and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Attorney General that the intending employer has filed with the Secretary an application under section 1182(n)(1) of this title, or (b1) who is entitled to enter the United States under and in pursuance of the provisions of an agreement listed in section 1184(g)(8)(A) of this title, who is engaged in a specialty occupation described in section 1184(i)(3) of this title, and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State that the intending employer has filed with the Secretary of Labor an attestation under section 1182(t)(1) of this title, or (c) who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform services as a registered nurse, who meets the qualifications described in section 1182(m)(1) of this title, and with respect to whom the Secretary of Labor determines and certifies to the Attorney General that an unexpired attestation is on file and in effect under section 1182(m)(2) of this title for the facility (as defined in section 1182(m)(6) of this title) for which the alien will perform the services; or (ii)(a) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services, as defined by the Secretary of Labor in regulations and including agricultural labor defined in section 3121(g) of Title 26, agriculture as defined in section 203(f) of Title 29, and the pressing of apples for cider on a farm, of a temporary or seasonal nature, or (b) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform other temporary service or labor if unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in this country, but this clause shall not apply to graduates of medical schools coming to the United States to perform services as members of the medical profession; or (iii) having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily to the United States as a trainee, other than to receive graduate medical education or training, in a training program that is not designed primarily to provide productive employment; and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien specified in this paragraph if accompanying him or following to join him;

(I) upon a basis of reciprocity, an alien who is a bona fide representative of foreign press, radio, film, or other foreign information media, who seeks to enter the United States solely to engage in such vocation, and the spouse and children of such a representative, if accompanying or following to join him;

(J) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is a bona fide student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, specialist, or leader in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, or other person of similar description, who is coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program designated by the Director of the United States Information Agency, for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training and who, if he is coming to the United States to participate in a program under which he will receive graduate medical education or training, also meets the requirements of section 1182(j) of this title, and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying him or following to join him;

(K) subject to subsections (d) and (p) of section 1184 of this title, an alien who--

(i) is the fiancee or fiance of a citizen of the United States (other than a citizen described in section 1154(a)(1)(A)(viii)(I) of this title) and who seeks to enter the United States solely to conclude a valid marriage with the petitioner within ninety days after admission;

(ii) has concluded a valid marriage with a citizen of the United States (other than a citizen described in section 1154(a)(1)(A)(viii)(I) of this title) who is the petitioner, is the beneficiary of a petition to accord a status under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title that was filed under section 1154 of this title by the petitioner, and seeks to enter the United States to await the approval of such petition and the availability to the alien of an immigrant visa; or

(iii) is the minor child of an alien described in clause (i) or (ii) and is accompanying, or following to join, the alien;

(L) subject to section 1184(c)(2) of this title, an alien who, within 3 years preceding the time of his application for admission into the United States, has been employed continuously for one year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily in order to continue to render his services to the same employer or a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial, executive, or involves specialized knowledge, and the alien spouse and minor children of any such alien if accompanying him or following to join him;

(M) (i) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing a full course of study at an established vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution (other than in a language training program) in the United States particularly designated by him and approved by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of Education, which institution shall have agreed to report to the Attorney General the termination of attendance of each nonimmigrant nonacademic student and if any such institution fails to make reports promptly the approval shall be withdrawn, (ii) the alien spouse and minor children of any alien described in clause (i) if accompanying or following to join such an alien, and (iii) an alien who is a national of Canada or Mexico, who maintains actual residence and place of abode in the country of nationality, who is described in clause (i) except that the alien's course of study may be full or part-time, and who commutes to the United States institution or place of study from Canada or Mexico;

(N)(i) the parent of an alien accorded the status of special immigrant under paragraph (27)(I)(i) (or under analogous authority under paragraph (27)(L)), but only if and while the alien is a child, or

(ii) a child of such parent or of an alien accorded the status of a special immigrant under clause (ii), (iii), or (iv) of paragraph (27)(I) (or under analogous authority under paragraph (27)(L));

(O) an alien who--

(i) has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim or, with regard to motion picture and television productions a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement, and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation, and seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability; or

(ii)(I) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of accompanying and assisting in the artistic or athletic performance by an alien who is admitted under clause (i) for a specific event or events,

(II) is an integral part of such actual performance,

(III) (a)has critical skills and experience with such alien which are not of a general nature and which cannot be performed by other individuals, or (b) in the case of a motion picture or television production, has skills and experience with such alien which are not of a general nature and which are critical either based on a pre-existing longstanding working relationship or, with respect to the specific production, because significant production (including pre- and post-production work) will take place both inside and outside the United States and the continuing participation of the alien is essential to the successful completion of the production, and

(IV) has a foreign residence which the alien has no intention of abandoning; or

(iii) is the alien spouse or child of an alien described in clause (i) or (ii) and is accompanying, or following to join, the alien;

(P) an alien having a foreign residence which the alien has no intention of abandoning who--

(i) (a) is described in section 1184(c)(4)(A) of this title (relating to athletes), or (b) is described in section 1184(c)(4)(B) of this title (relating to entertainment groups);

(ii)(I) performs as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or is an integral part of the performance of such a group, and

(II) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of performing as such an artist or entertainer or with such a group under a reciprocal exchange program which is between an organization or organizations in the United States and an organization or organizations in one or more foreign states and which provides for the temporary exchange of artists and entertainers, or groups of artists and entertainers;

(iii)(I) performs as an artist or entertainer, individually or as part of a group, or is an integral part of the performance of such a group, and

(II) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely to perform, teach, or coach as such an artist or entertainer or with such a group under a commercial or noncommercial program that is culturally unique; or

(iv) is the spouse or child of an alien described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) and is accompanying, or following to join, the alien;

(Q) an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he has no intention of abandoning who is coming temporarily (for a period not to exceed 15 months) to the United States as a participant in an international cultural exchange program approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the country of the alien's nationality and who will be employed under the same wages and working conditions as domestic workers;

(R) an alien, and the spouse and children of the alien if accompanying or following to join the alien, who--

(i) for the 2 years immediately preceding the time of application for admission, has been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States; and

(ii) seeks to enter the United States for a period not to exceed 5 years to perform the work described in subclause (I), (II), or (III) of paragraph (27)(C)(ii);

(S) subject to section 1184(k) of this title, an alien--

(i) who the Attorney General determines--

(I) is in possession of critical reliable information concerning a criminal organization or enterprise;

(II) is willing to supply or has supplied such information to Federal or State law enforcement authorities or a Federal or State court; and

(III) whose presence in the United States the Attorney General determines is essential to the success of an authorized criminal investigation or the successful prosecution of an individual involved in the criminal organization or enterprise; or

(ii) who the Secretary of State and the Attorney General jointly determine--

(I) is in possession of critical reliable information concerning a terrorist organization, enterprise, or operation;

(II) is willing to supply or has supplied such information to Federal law enforcement authorities or a Federal court;

(III) will be or has been placed in danger as a result of providing such information; and

(IV) is eligible to receive a reward under section 2708(a) of Title 22,

and, if the Attorney General (or with respect to clause (ii), the Secretary of State and the Attorney General jointly) considers it to be appropriate, the spouse, married and unmarried sons and daughters, and parents of an alien described in clause (i) or (ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien;

(T)(i) subject to section 1184(o) of this title, an alien who the Secretary of Homeland Security, or in the case of subclause (III)(aa) the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, determines--

(I) is or has been a victim of a severe form of trafficking in persons, as defined in section 7102 of Title 22;

(II) is physically present in the United States, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or at a port of entry thereto, on account of such trafficking, including physical presence on account of the alien having been allowed entry into the United States for participation in investigative or judicial processes associated with an act or a perpetrator of trafficking;

(III)(aa) has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the Federal, State, or local investigation or prosecution of acts of trafficking or the investigation of crime where acts of trafficking are at least one central reason for the commission of that crime;

(bb) in consultation with the Attorney General, as appropriate, is unable to cooperate with a request described in item (aa) due to physical or psychological trauma; or

(cc) has not attained 18 years of age; and

(IV) the alien would suffer extreme hardship involving unusual and severe harm upon removal; and

(ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien described in clause (i)--

(I) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is under 21 years of age, the spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18 years of age on the date on which such alien applied for status under such clause, and parents of such alien;

(II) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is 21 years of age or older, the spouse and children of such alien; or

(III) any parent or unmarried sibling under 18 years of age of an alien described in subclause (I) or (II) who the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the law enforcement officer investigating a severe form of trafficking, determines faces a present danger of retaliation as a result of the alien's escape from the severe form of trafficking or cooperation with law enforcement.

(iii) Repealed. Pub.L. 110-457, Title II, § 201(a)(3), Dec. 23, 2008, 122 Stat. 5053

(U)(i) subject to section 1184(p) of this title, an alien who files a petition for status under this subparagraph, if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that--

(I) the alien has suffered substantial physical or mental abuse as a result of having been a victim of criminal activity described in clause (iii);

(II) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) possesses information concerning criminal activity described in clause (iii);

(III) the alien (or in the case of an alien child under the age of 16, the parent, guardian, or next friend of the alien) has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful to a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official, to a Federal, State, or local prosecutor, to a Federal or State judge, to the Service, or to other Federal, State, or local authorities investigating or prosecuting criminal activity described in clause (iii); and

(IV) the criminal activity described in clause (iii) violated the laws of the United States or occurred in the United States (including in Indian country and military installations) or the territories and possessions of the United States;

(ii) if accompanying, or following to join, the alien described in clause (i)--

(I) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is under 21 years of age, the spouse, children, unmarried siblings under 18 years of age on the date on which such alien applied for status under such clause, and parents of such alien; or

(II) in the case of an alien described in clause (i) who is 21 years of age or older, the spouse and children of such alien; and

(iii) the criminal activity referred to in this clause is that involving one or more of the following or any similar activity in violation of Federal, State, or local criminal law: rape; torture; trafficking; incest; domestic violence; sexual assault; abusive sexual contact; prostitution; sexual exploitation; stalking; female genital mutilation; being held hostage; peonage; involuntary servitude; slave trade; kidnapping; abduction; unlawful criminal restraint; false imprisonment; blackmail; extortion; manslaughter; murder; felonious assault; witness tampering; obstruction of justice; perjury; or attempt, conspiracy, or solicitation to commit any of the above mentioned crimes; or

(V) subject to section 1184(q) of this title, an alien who is the beneficiary (including a child of the principal alien, if eligible to receive a visa under section 1153(d) of this title) of a petition to accord a status under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title that was filed with the Attorney General under section 1154 of this title on or before December 21, 2000, if--

(i) such petition has been pending for 3 years or more; or

(ii) such petition has been approved, 3 years or more have elapsed since such filing date, and--

(I) an immigrant visa is not immediately available to the alien because of a waiting list of applicants for visas under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title; or

(II) the alien's application for an immigrant visa, or the alien's application for adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title, pursuant to the approval of such petition, remains pending.

(16) The term “immigrant visa” means an immigrant visa required by this chapter and properly issued by a consular officer at his office outside of the United States to an eligible immigrant under the provisions of this chapter.

(17) The term “immigration laws” includes this chapter and all laws, conventions, and treaties of the United States relating to the immigration, exclusion, deportation, expulsion, or removal of aliens.

(18) The term “immigration officer” means any employee or class of employees of the Service or of the United States designated by the Attorney General, individually or by regulation, to perform the functions of an immigration officer specified by this chapter or any section of this title.

(19) The term “ineligible to citizenship,” when used in reference to any individual, means, notwithstanding the provisions of any treaty relating to military service, an individual who is, or was at any time permanently debarred from becoming a citizen of the United States under section 3(a) of the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, as amended (54 Stat. 885; 55 Stat. 844), or under section 4(a) of the Selective Service Act of 1948, as amended (62 Stat. 605; 65 Stat. 76)[50 App. U.S.C.A. 454(a)], or under any section of this chapter, or any other Act, or under any law amendatory of, supplementary to, or in substitution for, any of such sections or Acts.

(20) The term “lawfully admitted for permanent residence” means the status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the immigration laws, such status not having changed.

(21) The term “national” means a person owing permanent allegiance to a state.

(22) The term “national of the United States” means (A) a citizen of the United States, or (B) a person who, though not a citizen of the United States, owes permanent allegiance to the United States.

(23) The term “naturalization” means the conferring of nationality of a state upon a person after birth, by any means whatsoever.

(24) Repealed. Pub.L. 102-232, Title III, § 305(m)(1), Dec. 12, 1991, 105 Stat. 1750.

(25) The term “noncombatant service” shall not include service in which the individual is not subject to military discipline, court martial, or does not wear the uniform of any branch of the armed forces.

(26) The term “nonimmigrant visa” means a visa properly issued to an alien as an eligible nonimmigrant by a competent officer as provided in this chapter.

(27) The term “special immigrant” means--

(A) an immigrant, lawfully admitted for permanent residence, who is returning from a temporary visit abroad;

(B) an immigrant who was a citizen of the United States and may, under section 1435(a) or 1438 of this title, apply for reacquisition of citizenship;

(C) an immigrant, and the immigrant's spouse and children if accompanying or following to join the immigrant, who--

(i) for at least 2 years immediately preceding the time of application for admission, has been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States;

(ii) seeks to enter the United States--

(I) solely for the purpose of carrying on the vocation of a minister of that religious denomination,

(II) before September 30, 2015, in order to work for the organization at the request of the organization in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation, or

(III) before September 30, 2015, in order to work for the organization (or for a bona fide organization which is affiliated with the religious denomination and is exempt from taxation as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of Title 26) at the request of the organization in a religious vocation or occupation; and

(iii) has been carrying on such vocation, professional work, or other work continuously for at least the 2-year period described in clause (i);

(D) an immigrant who is an employee, or an honorably retired former employee, of the United States Government abroad, or of the American Institute in Taiwan, and who has performed faithful service for a total of fifteen years, or more, and his accompanying spouse and children: Provided, That the principal officer of a Foreign Service establishment (or, in the case of the American Institute in Taiwan, the Director thereof), in his discretion, shall have recommended the granting of special immigrant status to such alien in exceptional circumstances and the Secretary of State approves such recommendation and finds that it is in the national interest to grant such status;

(E) an immigrant, and his accompanying spouse and children, who is or has been an employee of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government before the date on which the Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 (as described in section 3602(a)(1) of Title 22) enters into force [October 1, 1979], who was resident in the Canal Zone on the effective date of the exchange of instruments of ratification of such Treaty [April 1, 1979], and who has performed faithful service as such an employee for one year or more;

(F) an immigrant, and his accompanying spouse and children, who is a Panamanian national and (i) who, before the date on which such Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 enters into force [October 1, 1979], has been honorably retired from United States Government employment in the Canal Zone with a total of 15 years or more of faithful service, or (ii) who, on the date on which such Treaty enters into force, has been employed by the United States Government in the Canal Zone with a total of 15 years or more of faithful service and who subsequently is honorably retired from such employment or continues to be employed by the United States Government in an area of the former Canal Zone;

(G) an immigrant, and his accompanying spouse and children, who was an employee of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on the effective date of the exchange of instruments of ratification of such Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 [April 1, 1979], who has performed faithful service for five years or more as such an employee, and whose personal safety, or the personal safety of whose spouse or children, as a direct result of such Treaty, is reasonably placed in danger because of the special nature of any of that employment;

(H) an immigrant, and his accompanying spouse and children, who--

(i) has graduated from a medical school or has qualified to practice medicine in a foreign state,

(ii) was fully and permanently licensed to practice medicine in a State on January 9, 1978, and was practicing medicine in a State on that date,

(iii) entered the United States as a nonimmigrant under subsection (a)(15)(H) or (a)(15)(J) of this section before January 10, 1978, and

(iv) has been continuously present in the United States in the practice or study of medicine since the date of such entry;

(I)(i) an immigrant who is the unmarried son or daughter of an officer or employee, or of a former officer or employee, of an international organization described in paragraph (15)(G)(i), and who (I) while maintaining the status of a nonimmigrant under paragraph (15)(G)(iv) or paragraph (15)(N), has resided and been physically present in the United States for periods totaling at least one-half of the seven years before the date of application for a visa or for adjustment of status to a status under this subparagraph and for a period or periods aggregating at least seven years between the ages of five and 21 years, and (II) applies for a visa or adjustment of status under this subparagraph no later than his twenty-fifth birthday or six months after October 24, 1988, whichever is later;

(ii) an immigrant who is the surviving spouse of a deceased officer or employee of such an international organization, and who (I) while maintaining the status of a nonimmigrant under paragraph (15)(G)(iv) or paragraph (15)(N), has resided and been physically present in the United States for periods totaling at least one-half of the seven years before the date of application for a visa or for adjustment of status to a status under this subparagraph and for a period or periods aggregating at least 15 years before the date of the death of such officer or employee, and (II) files a petition for status under this subparagraph no later than six months after the date of such death or six months after October 24, 1988, whichever is later;

(iii) an immigrant who is a retired officer or employee of such an international organization, and who (I) while maintaining the status of a nonimmigrant under paragraph (15)(G)(iv), has resided and been physically present in the United States for periods totaling at least one-half of the seven years before the date of application for a visa or for adjustment of status to a status under this subparagraph and for a period or periods aggregating at least 15 years before the date of the officer or employee's retirement from any such international organization, and (II) files a petition for status under this subparagraph no later than six months after the date of such retirement or six months after October 25, 1994, whichever is later; or

(iv) an immigrant who is the spouse of a retired officer or employee accorded the status of special immigrant under clause (iii), accompanying or following to join such retired officer or employee as a member of his immediate family;

(J) an immigrant who is present in the United States--

(i) who has been declared dependent on a juvenile court located in the United States or whom such a court has legally committed to, or placed under the custody of, an agency or department of a State, or an individual or entity appointed by a State or juvenile court located in the United States, and whose reunification with 1 or both of the immigrant's parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found under State law;

(ii) for whom it has been determined in administrative or judicial proceedings that it would not be in the alien's best interest to be returned to the alien's or parent's previous country of nationality or country of last habitual residence; and

(iii) in whose case the Secretary of Homeland Security consents to the grant of special immigrant juvenile status, except that--

(I) no juvenile court has jurisdiction to determine the custody status or placement of an alien in the custody of the Secretary of Health and Human Services unless the Secretary of Health and Human Services specifically consents to such jurisdiction; and

(II) no natural parent or prior adoptive parent of any alien provided special immigrant status under this subparagraph shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under this chapter;

(K) an immigrant who has served honorably on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States after October 15, 1978, and after original lawful enlistment outside the United States (under a treaty or agreement in effect on October 1, 1991) for a period or periods aggregating--

(i) 12 years and who, if separated from such service, was never separated except under honorable conditions, or

(ii) 6 years, in the case of an immigrant who is on active duty at the time of seeking special immigrant status under this subparagraph and who has reenlisted to incur a total active duty service obligation of at least 12 years,

and the spouse or child of any such immigrant if accompanying or following to join the immigrant, but only if the executive department under which the immigrant serves or served recommends the granting of special immigrant status to the immigrant;

(L) an immigrant who would be described in clause (i), (ii), (iii), or (iv) of subparagraph (I) if any reference in such a clause--

(i) to an international organization described in paragraph (15)(G)(i) were treated as a reference to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO);

(ii) to a nonimmigrant under paragraph (15)(G)(iv) were treated as a reference to a nonimmigrant classifiable under NATO-6 (as a member of a civilian component accompanying a force entering in accordance with the provisions of the NATO Status-of-Forces Agreement, a member of a civilian component attached to or employed by an Allied Headquarters under the “Protocol on the Status of International Military Headquarters” set up pursuant to the North Atlantic Treaty, or as a dependent); and

(iii) to the Immigration Technical Corrections Act of 1988 or to the Immigration and Nationality Technical Corrections Act of 1994 were a reference to the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 [FN2]

(M) subject to the numerical limitations of section 1153(b)(4) of this title, an immigrant who seeks to enter the United States to work as a broadcaster in the United States for the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or for a grantee of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, and the immigrant's accompanying spouse and children.

(28) The term “organization” means, but is not limited to, an organization, corporation, company, partnership, association, trust, foundation or fund; and includes a group of persons, whether or not incorporated, permanently or temporarily associated together with joint action on any subject or subjects.

(29) The term “outlying possessions of the United States” means American Samoa and Swains Island.

(30) The term “passport” means any travel document issued by competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity, and nationality if any, which is valid for the admission of the bearer into a foreign country.

(31) The term “permanent” means a relationship of continuing or lasting nature, as distinguished from temporary, but a relationship may be permanent even though it is one that may be dissolved eventually at the instance either of the United States or of the individual, in accordance with law.

(32) The term “profession” shall include but not be limited to architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, surgeons, and teachers in elementary or secondary schools, colleges, academies, or seminaries.

(33) The term “residence” means the place of general abode; the place of general abode of a person means his principal, actual dwelling place in fact, without regard to intent.

(34) The term “Service” means the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Justice.

(35) The term “spouse”, “wife”, or “husband” do not include a spouse, wife, or husband by reason of any marriage ceremony where the contracting parties thereto are not physically present in the presence of each other, unless the marriage shall have been consummated.

(36) The term “State” includes the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(37) The term “totalitarian party” means an organization which advocates the establishment in the United States of a totalitarian dictatorship or totalitarianism. The terms “totalitarian dictatorship” and “totalitarianism” mean and refer to systems of government not representative in fact, characterized by (A) the existence of a single political party, organized on a dictatorial basis, with so close an identity between such party and its policies and the governmental policies of the country in which it exists, that the party and the government constitute an indistinguishable unit, and (B) the forcible suppression of opposition to such party.

(38) The term “United States”, except as otherwise specifically herein provided, when used in a geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

(39) The term “unmarried”, when used in reference to any individual as of any time, means an individual who at such time is not married, whether or not previously married.

(40) The term “world communism” means a revolutionary movement, the purpose of which is to establish eventually a Communist totalitarian dictatorship in any or all the countries of the world through the medium of an internationally coordinated Communist political movement.

(41) The term “graduates of a medical school” means aliens who have graduated from a medical school or who have qualified to practice medicine in a foreign state, other than such aliens who are of national or international renown in the field of medicine.

(42) The term “refugee” means (A) any person who is outside any country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, or (B) in such special circumstances as the President after appropriate consultation (as defined in section 1157(e) of this title) may specify, any person who is within the country of such person's nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, within the country in which such person is habitually residing, and who is persecuted or who has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The term “refugee” does not include any person who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. For purposes of determinations under this chapter, a person who has been forced to abort a pregnancy or to undergo involuntary sterilization, or who has been persecuted for failure or refusal to undergo such a procedure or for other resistance to a coercive population control program, shall be deemed to have been persecuted on account of political opinion, and a person who has a well founded fear that he or she will be forced to undergo such a procedure or subject to persecution for such failure, refusal, or resistance shall be deemed to have a well founded fear of persecution on account of political opinion.

(43) The term “aggravated felony” means--

(A) murder, rape, or sexual abuse of a minor;

(B) illicit trafficking in a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of Title 21), including a drug trafficking crime (as defined in section 924(c) of Title 18);

(C) illicit trafficking in firearms or destructive devices (as defined in section 921 of Title 18) or in explosive materials (as defined in section 841(c) of that title);

(D) an offense described in section 1956 of Title 18 (relating to laundering of monetary instruments) or section 1957 of that title (relating to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specific unlawful activity) if the amount of the funds exceeded $10,000;

(E) an offense described in--

(i) section 842(h) or (i) of Title 18, or section 844(d), (e), (f), (g), (h), or (i) of that title (relating to explosive materials offenses);

(ii) section 922(g)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5), (j), (n), (o), (p), or (r) or 924(b) or (h) of Title 18 (relating to firearms offenses); or

(iii) section 5861 of Title 26 (relating to firearms offenses);

(F) a crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of Title 18, but not including a purely political offense) for which the term of imprisonment at [FN3] least one year;

(G) a theft offense (including receipt of stolen property) or burglary offense for which the term of imprisonment at [FN3] least one year;

(H) an offense described in section 875, 876, 877, or 1202 of Title 18 (relating to the demand for or receipt of ransom);

(I) an offense described in section 2251, 2251A, or 2252 of Title 18 (relating to child pornography);

(J) an offense described in section 1962 of Title 18 (relating to racketeer influenced corrupt organizations), or an offense described in section 1084 (if it is a second or subsequent offense) or 1955 of that title (relating to gambling offenses), for which a sentence of one year imprisonment or more may be imposed;

(K) an offense that--

(i) relates to the owning, controlling, managing, or supervising of a prostitution business;

(ii) is described in section 2421, 2422, or 2423 of Title 18 (relating to transportation for the purpose of prostitution) if committed for commercial advantage; or

(iii) is described in any of sections 1581-1585 or 1588-1591 of Title 18 (relating to peonage, slavery, involuntary servitude, and trafficking in persons);

(L) an offense described in--

(i) section 793 (relating to gathering or transmitting national defense information), 798 (relating to disclosure of classified information), 2153 (relating to sabotage) or 2381 or 2382 (relating to treason) of Title 18;

(ii) section 421 of Title 50 (relating to protecting the identity of undercover intelligence agents); or

(iii) section 421 of Title 50 (relating to protecting the identity of undercover agents);

(M) an offense that--

(i) involves fraud or deceit in which the loss to the victim or victims exceeds $10,000; or

(ii) is described in section 7201 of Title 26 (relating to tax evasion) in which the revenue loss to the Government exceeds $10,000;

(N) an offense described in paragraph (1)(A) or (2) of section 1324(a) of this title (relating to alien smuggling), except in the case of a first offense for which the alien has affirmatively shown that the alien committed the offense for the purpose of assisting, abetting, or aiding only the alien's spouse, child, or parent (and no other individual) to violate a provision of this chapter [FN4]

(O) an offense described in section 1325(a) or 1326 of this title committed by an alien who was previously deported on the basis of a conviction for an offense described in another subparagraph of this paragraph;

(P) an offense (i) which either is falsely making, forging, counterfeiting, mutilating, or altering a passport or instrument in violation of section 1543 of Title 18 or is described in section 1546(a) of such title (relating to document fraud) and (ii) for which the term of imprisonment is at least 12 months, except in the case of a first offense for which the alien has affirmatively shown that the alien committed the offense for the purpose of assisting, abetting, or aiding only the alien's spouse, child, or parent (and no other individual) to violate a provision of this chapter;

(Q) an offense relating to a failure to appear by a defendant for service of sentence if the underlying offense is punishable by imprisonment for a term of 5 years or more;

(R) an offense relating to commercial bribery, counterfeiting, forgery, or trafficking in vehicles the identification numbers of which have been altered for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year;

(S) an offense relating to obstruction of justice, perjury or subornation of perjury, or bribery of a witness, for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year;

(T) an offense relating to a failure to appear before a court pursuant to a court order to answer to or dispose of a charge of a felony for which a sentence of 2 years' imprisonment or more may be imposed; and

(U) an attempt or conspiracy to commit an offense described in this paragraph.

The term applies to an offense described in this paragraph whether in violation of Federal or State law and applies to such an offense in violation of the law of a foreign country for which the term of imprisonment was completed within the previous 15 years. Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including any effective date), the term applies regardless of whether the conviction was entered before, on, or after September 30, 1996.

(44)(A) The term “managerial capacity” means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily--

(i) manages the organization, or a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;

(ii) supervises and controls the work of other supervisory, professional, or managerial employees, or manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization;

(iii) if another employee or other employees are directly supervised, has the authority to hire and fire or recommend those as well as other personnel actions (such as promotion and leave authorization) or, if no other employee is directly supervised, functions at a senior level within the organizational hierarchy or with respect to the function managed; and

(iv) exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has authority.

A first-line supervisor is not considered to be acting in a managerial capacity merely by virtue of the supervisor's supervisory duties unless the employees supervised are professional.

(B) The term “executive capacity” means an assignment within an organization in which the employee primarily--

(i) directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;

(ii) establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;

(iii) exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and

(iv) receives only general supervision or direction from higher level executives, the board of directors, or stockholders of the organization.

(C) If staffing levels are used as a factor in determining whether an individual is acting in a managerial or executive capacity, the Attorney General shall take into account the reasonable needs of the organization, component, or function in light of the overall purpose and stage of development of the organization, component, or function. An individual shall not be considered to be acting in a managerial or executive capacity (as previously defined) merely on the basis of the number of employees that the individual supervises or has supervised or directs or has directed.

(45) The term “substantial” means, for purposes of paragraph (15)(E) with reference to trade or capital, such an amount of trade or capital as is established by the Secretary of State, after consultation with appropriate agencies of Government.

(46) The term “extraordinary ability” means, for purposes of subsection (a)(15)(O)(i) of this section, in the case of the arts, distinction.

(47)(A) The term “order of deportation” means the order of the special inquiry officer, or other such administrative officer to whom the Attorney General has delegated the responsibility for determining whether an alien is deportable, concluding that the alien is deportable or ordering deportation.

(B) The order described under subparagraph (A) shall become final upon the earlier of--

(i) a determination by the Board of Immigration Appeals affirming such order; or

(ii) the expiration of the period in which the alien is permitted to seek review of such order by the Board of Immigration Appeals.

(48)(A) The term “conviction” means, with respect to an alien, a formal judgment of guilt of the alien entered by a court or, if adjudication of guilt has been withheld, where--

(i) a judge or jury has found the alien guilty or the alien has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or has admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt, and

(ii) the judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty, or restraint on the alien's liberty to be imposed.

(B) Any reference to a term of imprisonment or a sentence with respect to an offense is deemed to include the period of incarceration or confinement ordered by a court of law regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that imprisonment or sentence in whole or in part.

(49) The term “stowaway” means any alien who obtains transportation without the consent of the owner, charterer, master or person in command of any vessel or aircraft through concealment aboard such vessel or aircraft. A passenger who boards with a valid ticket is not to be considered a stowaway.

(50) The term “intended spouse” means any alien who meets the criteria set forth in section 1154(a)(1)(A)(iii)(II)(aa)(BB), 1154(a)(1)(B)(ii)(II)(aa)(BB), or 1229b(b)(2)(A)(i)(III) of this title.

(51) The term “VAWA self-petitioner” means an alien, or a child of the alien, who qualifies for relief under--

(A) clause (iii), (iv), or (vii) of section 1154(a)(1)(A) of this title;

(B) clause (ii) or (iii) of section 1154(a)(1)(B) of this title;

(C) section 1186a(c)(4)(C) of this title;

(D) the first section of Public Law 89-732 (8 U.S.C. 1255 note) (commonly known as the Cuban Adjustment Act) as a child or spouse who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty;

(E) section 902(d)(1)(B) of the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 (8 U.S.C. 1255 note);

(F) section 202(d)(1) of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act; or

(G) section 309 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (division C of Public Law 104-208).

(52) The term “accredited language training program” means a language training program that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Secretary of Education.

(b) As used in subchapters I and II of this chapter--

(1) The term “child” means an unmarried person under twenty-one years of age who is--

(A) a child born in wedlock;

(B) a stepchild, whether or not born out of wedlock, provided the child had not reached the age of eighteen years at the time the marriage creating the status of stepchild occurred;

(C) a child legitimated under the law of the child's residence or domicile, or under the law of the father's residence or domicile, whether in or outside the United States, if such legitimation takes place before the child reaches the age of eighteen years and the child is in the legal custody of the legitimating parent or parents at the time of such legitimation;

(D) a child born out of wedlock, by, through whom, or on whose behalf a status, privilege, or benefit is sought by virtue of the relationship of the child to its natural mother or to its natural father if the father has or had a bona fide parent-child relationship with the person;

(E)(i) a child adopted while under the age of sixteen years if the child has been in the legal custody of, and has resided with, the adopting parent or parents for at least two years or if the child has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by the adopting parent or by a family member of the adopting parent residing in the same household: Provided, That no natural parent of any such adopted child shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under this chapter; or

(ii) subject to the same proviso as in clause (i), a child who: (I) is a natural sibling of a child described in clause (i) or subparagraph (F)(i); (II) was adopted by the adoptive parent or parents of the sibling described in such clause or subparagraph; and (III) is otherwise described in clause (i), except that the child was adopted while under the age of 18 years;

(F)(i) a child, under the age of sixteen at the time a petition is filed in his behalf to accord a classification as an immediate relative under section 1151(b) of this title, who is an orphan because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, or separation or loss from, both parents, or for whom the sole or surviving parent is incapable of providing the proper care and has in writing irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption; who has been adopted abroad by a United States citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried United States citizen at least twenty-five years of age, who personally saw and observed the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings; or who is coming to the United States for adoption by a United States citizen and spouse jointly, or by an unmarried United States citizen at least twenty-five years of age, who have or has complied with the preadoption requirements, if any, of the child's proposed residence; Provided, That the Attorney General is satisfied that proper care will be furnished the child if admitted to the United States: Provided further, That no natural parent or prior adoptive parent of any such child shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under this chapter; or

(ii) subject to the same provisos as in clause (i), a child who: (I) is a natural sibling of a child described in clause (i) or subparagraph (E)(i); (II) has been adopted abroad, or is coming to the United States for adoption, by the adoptive parent (or prospective adoptive parent) or parents of the sibling described in such clause or subparagraph; and (III) is otherwise described in clause (i), except that the child is under the age of 18 at the time a petition is filed in his or her behalf to accord a classification as an immediate relative under section 1151(b) of this title; or
(G)(i) a child, younger than 16 years of age at the time a petition is filed on the child's behalf to accord a classification as an immediate relative under section 1151(b) of this title, who has been adopted in a foreign state that is a party to the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, done at The Hague on May 29, 1993, or who is emigrating from such a foreign state to be adopted in the United States by a United States citizen and spouse jointly or by an unmarried United States citizen who is at least 25 years of age, Provided, That--
(I) the Secretary of Homeland Security is satisfied that proper care will be furnished the child if admitted to the United States;
(II) the child's natural parents (or parent, in the case of a child who has one sole or surviving parent because of the death or disappearance of, abandonment or desertion by, the other parent), or other persons or institutions that retain legal custody of the child, have freely given their written irrevocable consent to the termination of their legal relationship with the child, and to the child's emigration and adoption;
(III) in the case of a child having two living natural parents, the natural parents are incapable of providing proper care for the child;
(IV) the Secretary of Homeland Security is satisfied that the purpose of the adoption is to form a bona fide parent-child relationship, and the parent-child relationship of the child and the natural parents has been terminated (and in carrying out both obligations under this subclause the Secretary of Homeland Security may consider whether there is a petition pending to confer immigrant status on one or both of such natural parents); and
(V) in the case of a child who has not been adopted--
(aa) the competent authority of the foreign state has approved the child's emigration to the United States for the purpose of adoption by the prospective adoptive parent or parents; and
(bb) the prospective adoptive parent or parents has or have complied with any pre-adoption requirements of the child's proposed residence; and
(ii) except that no natural parent or prior adoptive parent of any such child shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under this chapter; or
(iii) subject to the same provisos as in clauses (i) and (ii), a child who--
(I) is a natural sibling of a child described in clause (i), subparagraph (E)(i), or subparagraph (F)(i);
(II) was adopted abroad, or is coming to the United States for adoption, by the adoptive parent (or prospective adoptive parent) or parents of the sibling described in clause (i), subparagraph (E)(i), or subparagraph (F)(i); and
(III) is otherwise described in clause (i), except that the child is younger than 18 years of age at the time a petition is filed on his or her behalf for classification as an immediate relative under section 1151(b) of this title.
(2) The terms “parent”, “father”, or “mother” mean a parent, father, or mother only where the relationship exists by reason of any of the circumstances set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection, except that, for purposes of paragraph (1)(F) (other than the second proviso therein) and paragraph (1)(G)(i) in the case of a child born out of wedlock described in paragraph (1)(D) (and not described in paragraph (1)(C)), the term “parent” does not include the natural father of the child if the father has disappeared or abandoned or deserted the child or if the father has in writing irrevocably released the child for emigration and adoption.
(3) The term “person” means an individual or an organization.
(4) The term “immigration judge” means an attorney whom the Attorney General appoints as an administrative judge within the Executive Office for Immigration Review, qualified to conduct specified classes of proceedings, including a hearing under section 1229a of this title. An immigration judge shall be subject to such supervision and shall perform such duties as the Attorney General shall prescribe, but shall not be employed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
(5) The term “adjacent islands” includes Saint Pierre, Miquelon, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, the Windward and Leeward Islands, Trinidad, Martinique, and other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea.
(c) As used in subchapter III--
(1) The term “child” means an unmarried person under twenty-one years of age and includes a child legitimated under the law of the child's residence or domicile, or under the law of the father's residence or domicile, whether in the United States or elsewhere, and, except as otherwise provided in sections 1431 and 1432 of this title, a child adopted in the United States, if such legitimation or adoption takes place before the child reaches the age of 16 years (except to the extent that the child is described in subparagraph (E)(ii) or (F)(ii) of subsection (b)(1)), and the child is in the legal custody of the legitimating or adopting parent or parents at the time of such legitimation or adoption.
(2) The terms “parent”, “father”, and “mother” include in the case of a posthumous child a deceased parent, father, and mother.
(d) Repealed. Pub.L. 100-525, § 9(a)(3), Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2619.
(e) For the purposes of this chapter--
(1) The giving, loaning, or promising of support or of money or any other thing of value to be used for advocating any doctrine shall constitute the advocating of such doctrine; but nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as an exclusive definition of advocating.
(2) The giving, loaning, or promising of support or of money or any other thing of value for any purpose to any organization shall be presumed to constitute affiliation therewith; but nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as an exclusive definition of affiliation.
(3) Advocating the economic, international, and governmental doctrines of world communism means advocating the establishment of a totalitarian Communist dictatorship in any or all of the countries of the world through the medium of an internationally coordinated Communist movement.
(f) For the purposes of this chapter--
No person shall be regarded as, or found to be, a person of good moral character who, during the period for which good moral character is required to be established is, or was--
(1) a habitual drunkard;
(2) Repealed. Pub.L. 97-116, § 2(c)(1), Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1611.
(3) a member of one or more of the classes of persons, whether inadmissible or not, described in paragraphs (2)(D), (6)(E), and (10)(A) of section 1182(a) of this title; or subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 1182(a)(2) of this title and subparagraph (C) thereof of such section5 (except as such paragraph relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marihuana), if the offense described therein, for which such person was convicted or of which he admits the commission, was committed during such period;
(4) one whose income is derived principally from illegal gambling activities;
(5) one who has been convicted of two or more gambling offenses committed during such period;
(6) one who has given false testimony for the purpose of obtaining any benefits under this chapter;
(7) one who during such period has been confined, as a result of conviction, to a penal institution for an aggregate period of one hundred and eighty days or more, regardless of whether the offense, or offenses, for which he has been confined were committed within or without such period;
(8) one who at any time has been convicted of an aggravated felony (as defined in subsection (a)(43)); or
(9) one who at any time has engaged in conduct described in section 1182(a)(3)(E) of this title (relating to assistance in Nazi persecution, participation in genocide, or commission of acts of torture or extrajudicial killings) or 1182(a)(2)(G) of this title (relating to severe violations of religious freedom).
The fact that any person is not within any of the foregoing classes shall not preclude a finding that for other reasons such person is or was not of good moral character. In the case of an alien who makes a false statement or claim of citizenship, or who registers to vote or votes in a Federal, State, or local election (including an initiative, recall, or referendum) in violation of a lawful restriction of such registration or voting to citizens, if each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization), the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16, and the alien reasonably believed at the time of such statement, claim, or violation that he or she was a citizen, no finding that the alien is, or was, not of good moral character may be made based on it.
(g) For the purposes of this chapter any alien ordered deported or removed (whether before or after the enactment of this chapter) who has left the United States, shall be considered to have been deported or removed in pursuance of law, irrespective of the source from which the expenses of his transportation were defrayed or of the place to which he departed.
(h) For purposes of section 1182(a)(2)(E) of this title, the term “serious criminal offense” means--
(1) any felony;
(2) any crime of violence, as defined in section 16 of Title 18; or
(3) any crime of reckless driving or of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or of prohibited substances if such crime involves personal injury to another.
(i) With respect to each nonimmigrant alien described in subsection (a)(15)(T)(i)--
(1) the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and other Government officials, where appropriate, shall provide the alien with a referral to a nongovernmental organization that would advise the alien regarding the alien's options while in the United States and the resources available to the alien; and
(2) the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, during the period the alien is in lawful temporary resident status under that subsection, grant the alien authorization to engage in employment in the United States and provide the alien with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit.

INA § 201 (8 USC § 1151)- Worldwide level of immigration

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

(a) In general
Exclusive of aliens described in subsection (b) of this section, aliens born in a foreign state or dependent area who may be issued immigrant visas or who may otherwise acquire the status of an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence are limited to--

(1) family-sponsored immigrants described in section 1153(a) of this title (or who are admitted under section 1181(a) of this title on the basis of a prior issuance of a visa to their accompanying parent under section 1153(a) of this title) in a number not to exceed in any fiscal year the number specified in subsection (c) of this section for that year, and not to exceed in any of the first 3 quarters of any fiscal year 27 percent of the worldwide level under such subsection for all of such fiscal year;

(2) employment-based immigrants described in section 1153(b) of this title (or who are admitted under section 1181(a) of this title on the basis of a prior issuance of a visa to their accompanying parent under section 1153(b) of this title), in a number not to exceed in any fiscal year the number specified in subsection (d) of this section for that year, and not to exceed in any of the first 3 quarters of any fiscal year 27 percent of the worldwide level under such subsection for all of such fiscal year; and

(3) for fiscal years beginning with fiscal year 1995, diversity immigrants described in section 1153(c) of this title (or who are admitted under section 1181(a) of this title on the basis of a prior issuance of a visa to their accompanying parent under section 1153(c) of this title) in a number not to exceed in any fiscal year the number specified in subsection (e) of this section for that year, and not to exceed in any of the first 3 quarters of any fiscal year 27 percent of the worldwide level under such subsection for all of such fiscal year.

(b) Aliens not subject to direct numerical limitations
Aliens described in this subsection, who are not subject to the worldwide levels or numerical limitations of subsection (a) of this section, are as follows:

(1)(A) Special immigrants described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 1101(a)(27) of this title.

(B) Aliens who are admitted under section 1157 of this title or whose status is adjusted under section 1159 of this title.

(C) Aliens whose status is adjusted to permanent residence under section 1160 or 1255a of this title.

(D) Aliens whose removal is canceled under section 1229b(a) of this title.

(E) Aliens provided permanent resident status under section 1259 of this title.

(2)(A)(i) Immediate relatives.--For purposes of this subsection, the term “immediate relatives” means the children, spouses, and parents of a citizen of the United States, except that, in the case of parents, such citizens shall be at least 21 years of age. In the case of an alien who was the spouse of a citizen of the United States and was not legally separated from the citizen at the time of the citizen's death, the alien (and each child of the alien) shall be considered, for purposes of this subsection, to remain an immediate relative after the date of the citizen's death but only if the spouse files a petition under section 1154(a)(1)(A)(ii) of this title within 2 years after such date and only until the date the spouse remarries. For purposes of this clause, an alien who has filed a petition under clause (iii) or (iv) of section 1154(a)(1)(A) of this title remains an immediate relative in the event that the United States citizen spouse or parent loses United States citizenship on account of the abuse.

(ii) Aliens admitted under section 1181(a) of this title on the basis of a prior issuance of a visa to their accompanying parent who is such an immediate relative.

(B) Aliens born to an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence during a temporary visit abroad.

(c) Worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants
(1)(A) The worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants under this subsection for a fiscal year is, subject to subparagraph (B), equal to--

(i) 480,000, minus

(ii) the sum of the number computed under paragraph (2) and the number computed under paragraph (4), plus

(iii) the number (if any) computed under paragraph (3).

(B)(i) For each of fiscal years 1992, 1993, and 1994, 465,000 shall be substituted for 480,000 in subparagraph (A)(i).

(ii) In no case shall the number computed under subparagraph (A) be less than 226,000.

(2) The number computed under this paragraph for a fiscal year is the sum of the number of aliens described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of subsection (b)(2) of this section who were issued immigrant visas or who otherwise acquired the status of aliens lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence in the previous fiscal year.

(3)(A) The number computed under this paragraph for fiscal year 1992 is zero.

(B) The number computed under this paragraph for fiscal year 1993 is the difference (if any) between the worldwide level established under paragraph (1) for the previous fiscal year and the number of visas issued under section 1153(a) of this title during that fiscal year.

(C) The number computed under this paragraph for a subsequent fiscal year is the difference (if any) between the maximum number of visas which may be issued under section 1153(b) of this title (relating to employment-based immigrants) during the previous fiscal year and the number of visas issued under that section during that year.

(4) The number computed under this paragraph for a fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 1999) is the number of aliens who were paroled into the United States under section 1182(d)(5) of this title in the second preceding fiscal year--

(A) who did not depart from the United States (without advance parole) within 365 days; and

(B) who (i) did not acquire the status of aliens lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence in the two preceding fiscal years, or (ii) acquired such status in such years under a provision of law (other than subsection (b) of this section) which exempts such adjustment from the numerical limitation on the worldwide level of immigration under this section.

(5) If any alien described in paragraph (4) (other than an alien described in paragraph (4)(B)(ii)) is subsequently admitted as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, such alien shall not again be considered for purposes of paragraph (1).

(d) Worldwide level of employment-based immigrants
(1) The worldwide level of employment-based immigrants under this subsection for a fiscal year is equal to--

(A) 140,000, plus

(B) the number computed under paragraph (2).

(2)(A) The number computed under this paragraph for fiscal year 1992 is zero.

(B) The number computed under this paragraph for fiscal year 1993 is the difference (if any) between the worldwide level established under paragraph (1) for the previous fiscal year and the number of visas issued under section 1153(b) of this title during that fiscal year.

(C) The number computed under this paragraph for a subsequent fiscal year is the difference (if any) between the maximum number of visas which may be issued under section 1153(a) of this title (relating to family-sponsored immigrants) during the previous fiscal year and the number of visas issued under that section during that year.

(e) Worldwide level of diversity immigrants
The worldwide level of diversity immigrants is equal to 55,000 for each fiscal year.

(f) Rules for determining whether certain aliens are immediate relatives
(1) Age on petition filing date

Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), for purposes of subsection (b)(2)(A)(i) of this section, a determination of whether an alien satisfies the age requirement in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) of section 1101(b)(1) of this title shall be made using the age of the alien on the date on which the petition is filed with the Attorney General under section 1154 of this title to classify the alien as an immediate relative under subsection (b)(2)(A)(i) of this section.

(2) Age on parent's naturalization date

In the case of a petition under section 1154 of this title initially filed for an alien child's classification as a family-sponsored immigrant under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title, based on the child's parent being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, if the petition is later converted, due to the naturalization of the parent, to a petition to classify the alien as an immediate relative under subsection (b)(2)(A)(i) of this section, the determination described in paragraph (1) shall be made using the age of the alien on the date of the parent's naturalization.

(3) Age on marriage termination date

In the case of a petition under section 1154 of this title initially filed for an alien's classification as a family-sponsored immigrant under section 1153(a)(3) of this title, based on the alien's being a married son or daughter of a citizen, if the petition is later converted, due to the legal termination of the alien's marriage, to a petition to classify the alien as an immediate relative under subsection (b)(2)(A)(i) of this section or as an unmarried son or daughter of a citizen under section 1153(a)(1) of this title, the determination described in paragraph (1) shall be made using the age of the alien on the date of the termination of the marriage.

(4) Application to self-petitions

Paragraphs (1) through (3) shall apply to self-petitioners and derivatives of self-petitioners.

INA § 203 (8 USC § 1153)- Allocation of immigrant visas

(a) Preference allocation for family-sponsored immigrants

Aliens subject to the worldwide level specified in section 1151(c) of this title for family-sponsored immigrants shall be allotted visas as follows:

(1) Unmarried sons and daughters of citizens

Qualified immigrants who are the unmarried sons or daughters of citizens of the United States shall be allocated visas in a number not to exceed 23,400, plus any visas not required for the class specified in paragraph (4).

(2) Spouses and unmarried sons and unmarried daughters of permanent resident aliens

Qualified immigrants--

(A) who are the spouses or children of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or

(B) who are the unmarried sons or unmarried daughters (but are not the children) of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence,

shall be allocated visas in a number not to exceed 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which such worldwide level exceeds 226,000, plus any visas not required for the class specified in paragraph (1); except that not less than 77 percent of such visa numbers shall be allocated to aliens described in subparagraph (A).

(3) Married sons and married daughters of citizens

Qualified immigrants who are the married sons or married daughters of citizens of the United States shall be allocated visas in a number not to exceed 23,400, plus any visas not required for the classes specified in paragraphs (1) and (2).

(4) Brothers and sisters of citizens

Qualified immigrants who are the brothers or sisters of citizens of the United States, if such citizens are at least 21 years of age, shall be allocated visas in a number not to exceed 65,000, plus any visas not required for the classes specified in paragraphs (1) through (3).

(b) Preference allocation for employment-based immigrants

Aliens subject to the worldwide level specified in section 1151(d) of this title for employment-based immigrants in a fiscal year shall be allotted visas as follows:

(1) Priority workers

Visas shall first be made available in a number not to exceed 28.6 percent of such worldwide level, plus any visas not required for the classes specified in paragraphs (4) and (5), to qualified immigrants who are aliens described in any of the following subparagraphs (A) through (C):

(A) Aliens with extraordinary ability

An alien is described in this subparagraph if--

(i) the alien has extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation,

(ii) the alien seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability, and

(iii) the alien's entry into the United States will substantially benefit prospectively the United States.

(B) Outstanding professors and researchers

An alien is described in this subparagraph if--

(i) the alien is recognized internationally as outstanding in a specific academic area,

(ii) the alien has at least 3 years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area, and

(iii) the alien seeks to enter the United States--

(I) for a tenured position (or tenure-track position) within a university or institution of higher education to teach in the academic area,

(II) for a comparable position with a university or institution of higher education to conduct research in the area, or

(III) for a comparable position to conduct research in the area with a department, division, or institute of a private employer, if the department, division, or institute employs at least 3 persons full-time in research activities and has achieved documented accomplishments in an academic field.

(C) Certain multinational executives and managers

An alien is described in this subparagraph if the alien, in the 3 years preceding the time of the alien's application for classification and admission into the United States under this subparagraph, has been employed for at least 1 year by a firm or corporation or other legal entity or an affiliate or subsidiary thereof and the alien seeks to enter the United States in order to continue to render services to the same employer or to a subsidiary or affiliate thereof in a capacity that is managerial or executive.

(2) Aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability

(A) In general

Visas shall be made available, in a number not to exceed 28.6 percent of such worldwide level, plus any visas not required for the classes specified in paragraph (1), to qualified immigrants who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or their equivalent or who because of their exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business, will substantially benefit prospectively the national economy, cultural or educational interests, or welfare of the United States, and whose services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business are sought by an employer in the United States.

(B) Waiver of job offer

(i) National interest waiver

Subject to clause (ii), the Attorney General may, when the Attorney General deems it to be in the national interest, waive the requirements of subparagraph (A) that an alien's services in the sciences, arts, professions, or business be sought by an employer in the United States.

(ii) Physicians working in shortage areas or veterans facilities

(I) In general

The Attorney General shall grant a national interest waiver pursuant to clause (i) on behalf of any alien physician with respect to whom a petition for preference classification has been filed under subparagraph (A) if--

(aa) the alien physician agrees to work full time as a physician in an area or areas designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as having a shortage of health care professionals or at a health care facility under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; and

(bb) a Federal agency or a department of public health in any State has previously determined that the alien physician's work in such an area or at such facility was in the public interest.

(II) Prohibition

No permanent resident visa may be issued to an alien physician described in subclause (I) by the Secretary of State under section 1154(b) of this title, and the Attorney General may not adjust the status of such an alien physician from that of a nonimmigrant alien to that of a permanent resident alien under section 1255 of this title, until such time as the alien has worked full time as a physician for an aggregate of 5 years (not including the time served in the status of an alien described in section 1101(a)(15)(J) of this title), in an area or areas designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as having a shortage of health care professionals or at a health care facility under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

(III) Statutory construction

Nothing in this subparagraph may be construed to prevent the filing of a petition with the Attorney General for classification under section 1154(a) of this title, or the filing of an application for adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title, by an alien physician described in subclause (I) prior to the date by which such alien physician has completed the service described in subclause (II).

(IV) Effective date

The requirements of this subsection do not affect waivers on behalf of alien physicians approved under subsection (b)(2)(B) before the enactment date of this subsection. In the case of a physician for whom an application for a waiver was filed under subsection (b)(2)(B) prior to November 1, 1998, the Attorney General shall grant a national interest waiver pursuant to subsection (b)(2)(B) except that the alien is required to have worked full time as a physician for an aggregate of 3 years (not including time served in the status of an alien described in section 1101(a)(15)(J) of this title) before a visa can be issued to the alien under section 1154(b) of this title or the status of the alien is adjusted to permanent resident under section 1255 of this title.

(C) Determination of exceptional ability

In determining under subparagraph (A) whether an immigrant has exceptional ability, the possession of a degree, diploma, certificate, or similar award from a college, university, school, or other institution of learning or a license to practice or certification for a particular profession or occupation shall not by itself be considered sufficient evidence of such exceptional ability.

(3) Skilled workers, professionals, and other workers

(A) In general

Visas shall be made available, in a number not to exceed 28.6 percent of such worldwide level, plus any visas not required for the classes specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), to the following classes of aliens who are not described in paragraph (2):

(i) Skilled workers

Qualified immigrants who are capable, at the time of petitioning for classification under this paragraph, of performing skilled labor (requiring at least 2 years training or experience), not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

(ii) Professionals

Qualified immigrants who hold baccalaureate degrees and who are members of the professions.

(iii) Other workers

Other qualified immigrants who are capable, at the time of petitioning for classification under this paragraph, of performing unskilled labor, not of a temporary or seasonal nature, for which qualified workers are not available in the United States.

(B) Limitation on other workers

Not more than 10,000 of the visas made available under this paragraph in any fiscal year may be available for qualified immigrants described in subparagraph (A)(iii).

(C) Labor certification required

An immigrant visa may not be issued to an immigrant under subparagraph (A) until the consular officer is in receipt of a determination made by the Secretary of Labor pursuant to the provisions of section 1182(a)(5)(A) of this title.

(4) Certain special immigrants

Visas shall be made available, in a number not to exceed 7.1 percent of such worldwide level, to qualified special immigrants described in section 1101(a)(27) of this title (other than those described in subparagraph (A) or (B) thereof), of which not more than 5,000 may be made available in any fiscal year to special immigrants described in subclause (II) or (III) of section 1101(a)(27)(C)(ii) of this title, and not more than 100 may be made available in any fiscal year to special immigrants, excluding spouses and children, who are described in section 1101(a)(27)(M) of this title.

(5) Employment creation

(A) In general

Visas shall be made available, in a number not to exceed 7.1 percent of such worldwide level, to qualified immigrants seeking to enter the United States for the purpose of engaging in a new commercial enterprise (including a limited partnership)--

(i) in which such alien has invested (after November 29, 1990) or, is actively in the process of investing, capital in an amount not less than the amount specified in subparagraph (C), and

(ii) which will benefit the United States economy and create full-time employment for not fewer than 10 United States citizens or aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the United States (other than the immigrant and the immigrant's spouse, sons, or daughters).

(B) Set-aside for targeted employment areas

(i) In general

Not less than 3,000 of the visas made available under this paragraph in each fiscal year shall be reserved for qualified immigrants who invest in a new commercial enterprise described in subparagraph (A) which will create employment in a targeted employment area.

(ii) “Targeted employment area” defined

In this paragraph, the term “targeted employment area” means, at the time of the investment, a rural area or an area which has experienced high unemployment (of at least 150 percent of the national average rate).

(iii) “Rural area” defined

In this paragraph, the term “rural area” means any area other than an area within a metropolitan statistical area or within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more (based on the most recent decennial census of the United States).

(C) Amount of capital required

(i) In general

Except as otherwise provided in this subparagraph, the amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) shall be $1,000,000. The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of State, may from time to time prescribe regulations increasing the dollar amount specified under the previous sentence.

(ii) Adjustment for targeted employment areas

The Attorney General may, in the case of investment made in a targeted employment area, specify an amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) that is less than (but not less than ½ of) the amount specified in clause (i).

(iii) Adjustment for high employment areas

In the case of an investment made in a part of a metropolitan statistical area that at the time of the investment--

(I) is not a targeted employment area, and

(II) is an area with an unemployment rate significantly below the national average unemployment rate,

the Attorney General may specify an amount of capital required under subparagraph (A) that is greater than (but not greater than 3 times) the amount specified in clause (i).

(D) Full-time employment defined

In this paragraph, the term “full-time employment” means employment in a position that requires at least 35 hours of service per week at any time, regardless of who fills the position.

(6) Special rules for “K” special immigrants

(A) Not counted against numerical limitation in year involved

Subject to subparagraph (B), the number of immigrant visas made available to special immigrants under section 1101(a)(27)(K) of this title in a fiscal year shall not be subject to the numerical limitations of this subsection or of section 1152(a) of this title.

(B) Counted against numerical limitations in following year

(i) Reduction in employment-based immigrant classifications

The number of visas made available in any fiscal year under paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) shall each be reduced by ⅓ of the number of visas made available in the previous fiscal year to special immigrants described in section 1101(a)(27)(K) of this title.

(ii) Reduction in per country level

The number of visas made available in each fiscal year to natives of a foreign state under section 1152(a) of this title shall be reduced by the number of visas made available in the previous fiscal year to special immigrants described in section 1101(a)(27)(K) of this title who are natives of the foreign state.

(iii) Reduction in employment-based immigrant classifications within per country ceiling

In the case of a foreign state subject to section 1152(e) of this title in a fiscal year (and in the previous fiscal year), the number of visas made available and allocated to each of paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection in the fiscal year shall be reduced by ⅓ of the number of visas made available in the previous fiscal year to special immigrants described in section 1101(a)(27)(K) of this title who are natives of the foreign state.

(c) Diversity immigrants

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), aliens subject to the worldwide level specified in section 1151(e) of this title for diversity immigrants shall be allotted visas each fiscal year as follows:

(A) Determination of preference immigration

The Attorney General shall determine for the most recent previous 5-fiscal-year period for which data are available, the total number of aliens who are natives of each foreign state and who (i) were admitted or otherwise provided lawful permanent resident status (other than under this subsection) and (ii) were subject to the numerical limitations of section 1151(a) of this title (other than paragraph (3) thereof) or who were admitted or otherwise provided lawful permanent resident status as an immediate relative or other alien described in section 1151(b)(2) of this title.

(B) Identification of high-admission and low-admission regions and high-admission and low-admission states

The Attorney General--

(i) shall identify--

(I) each region (each in this paragraph referred to as a “high-admission region”) for which the total of the numbers determined under subparagraph (A) for states in the region is greater than 1/6 of the total of all such numbers, and

(II) each other region (each in this paragraph referred to as a “low-admission region”); and

(ii) shall identify--

(I) each foreign state for which the number determined under subparagraph (A) is greater than 50,000 (each such state in this paragraph referred to as a “high-admission state”), and

(II) each other foreign state (each such state in this paragraph referred to as a “low-admission state”).

(C) Determination of percentage of worldwide immigration attributable to high-admission regions

The Attorney General shall determine the percentage of the total of the numbers determined under subparagraph (A) that are numbers for foreign states in high-admission regions.

(D) Determination of regional populations excluding high-admission states and ratios of populations of regions within low-admission regions and high-admission regions

The Attorney General shall determine--

(i) based on available estimates for each region, the total population of each region not including the population of any high-admission state;

(ii) for each low-admission region, the ratio of the population of the region determined under clause (i) to the total of the populations determined under such clause for all the low-admission regions; and

(iii) for each high-admission region, the ratio of the population of the region determined under clause (i) to the total of the populations determined under such clause for all the high-admission regions.

(E) Distribution of visas

(i) No visas for natives of high-admission states

The percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives of a high-admission state is 0.

(ii) For low-admission states in low-admission regions

Subject to clauses (iv) and (v), the percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives (other than natives of a high-admission state) in a low-admission region is the product of--

(I) the percentage determined under subparagraph (C), and

(II) the population ratio for that region determined under subparagraph (D)(ii).

(iii) For low-admission states in high-admission regions

Subject to clauses (iv) and (v), the percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives (other than natives of a high-admission state) in a high-admission region is the product of--

(I) 100 percent minus the percentage determined under subparagraph (C), and

(II) the population ratio for that region determined under subparagraph (D)(iii).

(iv) Redistribution of unused visa numbers

If the Secretary of State estimates that the number of immigrant visas to be issued to natives in any region for a fiscal year under this paragraph is less than the number of immigrant visas made available to such natives under this paragraph for the fiscal year, subject to clause (v), the excess visa numbers shall be made available to natives (other than natives of a high-admission state) of the other regions in proportion to the percentages otherwise specified in clauses (ii) and (iii).

(v) Limitation on visas for natives of a single foreign state

The percentage of visas made available under this paragraph to natives of any single foreign state for any fiscal year shall not exceed 7 percent.

(F) “Region” defined

Only for purposes of administering the diversity program under this subsection, Northern Ireland shall be treated as a separate foreign state, each colony or other component or dependent area of a foreign state overseas from the foreign state shall be treated as part of the foreign state, and the areas described in each of the following clauses shall be considered to be a separate region:

(i) Africa.

(ii) Asia.

(iii) Europe.

(iv) North America (other than Mexico).

(v) Oceania.

(vi) South America, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

(2) Requirement of education or work experience

An alien is not eligible for a visa under this subsection unless the alien--

(A) has at least a high school education or its equivalent, or

(B) has, within 5 years of the date of application for a visa under this subsection, at least 2 years of work experience in an occupation which requires at least 2 years of training or experience.

(3) Maintenance of information

The Secretary of State shall maintain information on the age, occupation, education level, and other relevant characteristics of immigrants issued visas under this subsection.

(d) Treatment of family members

A spouse or child as defined in subparagraph (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) of section 1101(b)(1) of this title shall, if not otherwise entitled to an immigrant status and the immediate issuance of a visa under subsection (a), (b), or (c), be entitled to the same status, and the same order of consideration provided in the respective subsection, if accompanying or following to join, the spouse or parent.

(e) Order of consideration

(1) Immigrant visas made available under subsection (a) or (b) shall be issued to eligible immigrants in the order in which a petition in behalf of each such immigrant is filed with the Attorney General (or in the case of special immigrants under section 1101(a)(27)(D) of this title, with the Secretary of State) as provided in section 1154(a) of this title.

(2) Immigrant visa numbers made available under subsection (c) (relating to diversity immigrants) shall be issued to eligible qualified immigrants strictly in a random order established by the Secretary of State for the fiscal year involved.

(3) Waiting lists of applicants for visas under this section shall be maintained in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of State.

(f) Authorization for issuance

In the case of any alien claiming in his application for an immigrant visa to be described in section 1151(b)(2) of this title or in subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, the consular officer shall not grant such status until he has been authorized to do so as provided by section 1154 of this title.

(g) Lists

For purposes of carrying out the Secretary's responsibilities in the orderly administration of this section, the Secretary of State may make reasonable estimates of the anticipated numbers of visas to be issued during any quarter of any fiscal year within each of the categories under subsections (a), (b), and (c) and to rely upon such estimates in authorizing the issuance of visas. The Secretary of State shall terminate the registration of any alien who fails to apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification to the alien of the availability of such visa, but the Secretary shall reinstate the registration of any such alien who establishes within 2 years following the date of notification of the availability of such visa that such failure to apply was due to circumstances beyond the alien's control.

(h) Rules for determining whether certain aliens are children

(1) In general

For purposes of subsections (a)(2)(A) and (d), a determination of whether an alien satisfies the age requirement in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) of section 1101(b)(1) of this title shall be made using--

(A) the age of the alien on the date on which an immigrant visa number becomes available for such alien (or, in the case of subsection (d), the date on which an immigrant visa number became available for the alien's parent), but only if the alien has sought to acquire the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence within one year of such availability; reduced by

(B) the number of days in the period during which the applicable petition described in paragraph (2) was pending.

(2) Petitions described

The petition described in this paragraph is--

(A) with respect to a relationship described in subsection (a)(2)(A), a petition filed under section 1154 of this title for classification of an alien child under subsection (a)(2)(A); or

(B) with respect to an alien child who is a derivative beneficiary under subsection (d), a petition filed under section 1154 of this title for classification of the alien's parent under subsection (a), (b), or (c).

(3) Retention of priority date

If the age of an alien is determined under paragraph (1) to be 21 years of age or older for the purposes of subsections (a)(2)(A) and (d), the alien's petition shall automatically be converted to the appropriate category and the alien shall retain the original priority date issued upon receipt of the original petition.

(4) Application to self-petitions

Paragraphs (1) through (3) shall apply to self-petitioners and derivatives of self-petitioners.

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INA § 204 (8 USC § 1154)- Procedure for granting immigrant status

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

(a) Petitioning procedure
(1)(A)(i) Except as provided in clause (viii), any citizen of the United States claiming that an alien is entitled to classification by reason of a relationship described in paragraph (1), (3), or (4) of section 1153(a) of this title or to an immediate relative status under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

(ii) An alien spouse described in the second sentence of section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title also may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and the alien's children) under such section.

(iii)(I) An alien who is described in subclause (II) may file a petition with the Attorney General under this clause for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that--

(aa) the marriage or the intent to marry the United States citizen was entered into in good faith by the alien; and

(bb) during the marriage or relationship intended by the alien to be legally a marriage, the alien or a child of the alien has been battered or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien's spouse or intended spouse.

(II) For purposes of subclause (I), an alien described in this subclause is an alien--

(aa)(AA) who is the spouse of a citizen of the United States;

(BB) who believed that he or she had married a citizen of the United States and with whom a marriage ceremony was actually performed and who otherwise meets any applicable requirements under this chapter to establish the existence of and bona fides of a marriage, but whose marriage is not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of such citizen of the United States; or

(CC) who was a bona fide spouse of a United States citizen within the past 2 years and--

(aaa) whose spouse died within the past 2 years;

(bbb) whose spouse lost or renounced citizenship status within the past 2 years related to an incident of domestic violence; or

(ccc) who demonstrates a connection between the legal termination of the marriage within the past 2 years and battering or extreme cruelty by the United States citizen spouse;

(bb) who is a person of good moral character;

(cc) who is eligible to be classified as an immediate relative under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title or who would have been so classified but for the bigamy of the citizen of the United States that the alien intended to marry; and

(dd) who has resided with the alien's spouse or intended spouse.

(iv) An alien who is the child of a citizen of the United States, or who was a child of a United States citizen parent who within the past 2 years lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence, and who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible to be classified as an immediate relative under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title, and who resides, or has resided in the past, with the citizen parent may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that the alien has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien's citizen parent. For purposes of this clause, residence includes any period of visitation.

(v) An alien who--

(I) is the spouse, intended spouse, or child living abroad of a citizen who--

(aa) is an employee of the United States Government;

(bb) is a member of the uniformed services (as defined in section 101(a) of Title 10); or

(cc) has subjected the alien or the alien's child to battery or extreme cruelty in the United States; and

(II) is eligible to file a petition under clause (iii) or (iv), shall file such petition with the Attorney General under the procedures that apply to self-petitioners under clause (iii) or (iv), as applicable.

(vi) For the purposes of any petition filed under clause (iii) or (iv), the denaturalization, loss or renunciation of citizenship, death of the abuser, divorce, or changes to the abuser's citizenship status after filing of the petition shall not adversely affect the approval of the petition, and for approved petitions shall not preclude the classification of the eligible self-petitioning spouse or child as an immediate relative or affect the alien's ability to adjust status under subsections (a) and (c) of section 1255 of this title or obtain status as a lawful permanent resident based on the approved self- petition under such clauses.

(vii) An alien may file a petition with the Secretary of Homeland Security under this subparagraph for classification of the alien under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title if the alien--

(I) is the parent of a citizen of the United States or was a parent of a citizen of the United States who, within the past 2 years, lost or renounced citizenship status related to an incident of domestic violence or died;

(II) is a person of good moral character;

(III) is eligible to be classified as an immediate relative under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title;

(IV) resides, or has resided, with the citizen daughter or son; and

(V) demonstrates that the alien has been battered or subject to extreme cruelty by the citizen daughter or son.

(viii)(I) Clause (i) shall not apply to a citizen of the United States who has been convicted of a specified offense against a minor, unless the Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary's sole and unreviewable discretion, determines that the citizen poses no risk to the alien with respect to whom a petition described in clause (i) is filed.

(II) For purposes of subclause (I), the term “specified offense against a minor” is defined as in section 16911 of Title 42.

(B)(i)(I) Except as provided in subclause (II), any alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence claiming that an alien is entitled to a classification by reason of the relationship described in section 1153(a)(2) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

(I) [FN1] Subclause (I) shall not apply in the case of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who has been convicted of a specified offense against a minor (as defined in subparagraph (A)(viii)(II)), unless the Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary's sole and unreviewable discretion, determines that such person poses no risk to the alien with respect to whom a petition described in subclause (I) is filed.

(ii)(I) An alien who is described in subclause (II) may file a petition with the Attorney General under this clause for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) if such a child has not been classified under clause (iii) of section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title and if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that--

(aa) the marriage or the intent to marry the lawful permanent resident was entered into in good faith by the alien; and

(bb) during the marriage or relationship intended by the alien to be legally a marriage, the alien or a child of the alien has been battered or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien's spouse or intended spouse.

(II) For purposes of subclause (I), an alien described in this paragraph is an alien--

(aa)(AA) who is the spouse of a lawful permanent resident of the United States; or

(BB) who believed that he or she had married a lawful permanent resident of the United States and with whom a marriage ceremony was actually performed and who otherwise meets any applicable requirements under this chapter to establish the existence of and bona fides of a marriage, but whose marriage is not legitimate solely because of the bigamy of such lawful permanent resident of the United States; or

(CC) who was a bona fide spouse of a lawful permanent resident within the past 2 years and--

(aaa) whose spouse lost status within the past 2 years due to an incident of domestic violence; or

(bbb) who demonstrates a connection between the legal termination of the marriage within the past 2 years and battering or extreme cruelty by the lawful permanent resident spouse;

(bb) who is a person of good moral character;

(cc) who is eligible to be classified as a spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title or who would have been so classified but for the bigamy of the lawful permanent resident of the United States that the alien intended to marry; and

(dd) who has resided with the alien's spouse or intended spouse.

(iii) An alien who is the child of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or who was the child of a lawful permanent resident who within the past 2 years lost lawful permanent resident status due to an incident of domestic violence, and who is a person of good moral character, who is eligible for classification under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title, and who resides, or has resided in the past, with the alien's permanent resident alien parent may file a petition with the Attorney General under this subparagraph for classification of the alien (and any child of the alien) under such section if the alien demonstrates to the Attorney General that the alien has been battered by or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien's permanent resident parent.

(iv) An alien who--

(I) is the spouse, intended spouse, or child living abroad of a lawful permanent resident who--

(aa) is an employee of the United States Government;

(bb) is a member of the uniformed services (as defined in section 101(a) of Title 10); or

(cc) has subjected the alien or the alien's child to battery or extreme cruelty in the United States; and

(II) is eligible to file a petition under clause (ii) or (iii), shall file such petition with the Attorney General under the procedures that apply to self-petitioners under clause (ii) or (iii), as applicable.

(v)(I) For the purposes of any petition filed or approved under clause (ii) or (iii), divorce, or the loss of lawful permanent resident status by a spouse or parent after the filing of a petition under that clause shall not adversely affect approval of the petition, and, for an approved petition, shall not affect the alien's ability to adjust status under subsections (a) and (c) of section 1255 of this title or obtain status as a lawful permanent resident based on an approved self-petition under clause (ii) or (iii).

(II) Upon the lawful permanent resident spouse or parent becoming or establishing the existence of United States citizenship through naturalization, acquisition of citizenship, or other means, any petition filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and pending or approved under clause (ii) or (iii) on behalf of an alien who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty shall be deemed reclassified as a petition filed under subparagraph (A) even if the acquisition of citizenship occurs after divorce or termination of parental rights.

(C) Notwithstanding section 1101(f) of this title, an act or conviction that is waivable with respect to the petitioner for purposes of a determination of the petitioner's admissibility under section 1182(a) of this title or deportability under section 1227(a) of this title shall not bar the Attorney General from finding the petitioner to be of good moral character under subparagraph (A)(iii), (A)(iv), (B)(ii), or (B)(iii) if the Attorney General finds that the act or conviction was connected to the alien's having been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty.

(D)(i)(I) Any child who attains 21 years of age who has filed a petition under clause (iv) of subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section or subsection (a)(1)(B)(iii) of this section that was filed or approved before the date on which the child attained 21 years of age shall be considered (if the child has not been admitted or approved for lawful permanent residence by the date the child attained 21 years of age) a petitioner for preference status under paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of section 1153(a) of this title, whichever paragraph is applicable, with the same priority date assigned to the self-petition filed under clause (iv) of subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section or subsection (a)(1)(B)(iii) of this section. No new petition shall be required to be filed.

(II) Any individual described in subclause (I) is eligible for deferred action and work authorization.

(III) Any derivative child who attains 21 years of age who is included in a petition described in clause (ii) that was filed or approved before the date on which the child attained 21 years of age shall be considered (if the child has not been admitted or approved for lawful permanent residence by the date the child attained 21 years of age) a VAWA self-petitioner with the same priority date as that assigned to the petitioner in any petition described in clause (ii). No new petition shall be required to be filed.

(IV) Any individual described in subclause (III) and any derivative child of a petition described in clause (ii) is eligible for deferred action and work authorization.

(ii) The petition referred to in clause (i)(III) is a petition filed by an alien under subparagraph (A)(iii), (A)(iv), (B)(ii) or (B)(iii) in which the child is included as a derivative beneficiary.

(iii) Nothing in the amendments made by the Child Status Protection Act shall be construed to limit or deny any right or benefit provided under this subparagraph.

(iv) Any alien who benefits from this subparagraph may adjust status in accordance with subsections (a) and (c) of section 1255 of this title as an alien having an approved petition for classification under subparagraph (A)(iii), (A)(iv), (B)(ii), or (B)(iii).

(v) For purposes of this paragraph, an individual who is not less than 21 years of age, who qualified to file a petition under subparagraph (A)(iv) or (B)(iii) as of the day before the date on which the individual attained 21 years of age, and who did not file such a petition before such day, shall be treated as having filed a petition under such subparagraph as of such day if a petition is filed for the status described in such subparagraph before the individual attains 25 years of age and the individual shows that the abuse was at least one central reason for the filing delay. Clauses (i) through (iv) of this subparagraph shall apply to an individual described in this clause in the same manner as an individual filing a petition under subparagraph (A)(iv) or (B)(iii).

(E) Any alien desiring to be classified under section 1153(b)(1)(A) of this title, or any person on behalf of such an alien, may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

(F) Any employer desiring and intending to employ within the United States an alien entitled to classification under section 1153(b)(1)(B), 1153(b)(1)(C), 1153(b)(2), or 1153(b)(3) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

(G)(i) Any alien (other than a special immigrant under section 1101(a)(27)(D) of this title) desiring to be classified under section 1153(b)(4) of this title, or any person on behalf of such an alien, may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

(ii) Aliens claiming status as a special immigrant under section 1101(a)(27)(D) of this title may file a petition only with the Secretary of State and only after notification by the Secretary that such status has been recommended and approved pursuant to such section.

(H) Any alien desiring to be classified under section 1153(b)(5) of this title may file a petition with the Attorney General for such classification.

(I)(i) Any alien desiring to be provided an immigrant visa under section 1153(c) of this title may file a petition at the place and time determined by the Secretary of State by regulation. Only one such petition may be filed by an alien with respect to any petitioning period established. If more than one petition is submitted all such petitions submitted for such period by the alien shall be voided.

(ii)(I) The Secretary of State shall designate a period for the filing of petitions with respect to visas which may be issued under section 1153(c) of this title for the fiscal year beginning after the end of the period.

(II) Aliens who qualify, through random selection, for a visa under section 1153(c) of this title shall remain eligible to receive such visa only through the end of the specific fiscal year for which they were selected.

(III) The Secretary of State shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this clause.

(iii) A petition under this subparagraph shall be in such form as the Secretary of State may by regulation prescribe and shall contain such information and be supported by such documentary evidence as the Secretary of State may require.

(J) In acting on petitions filed under clause (iii) or (iv) of subparagraph (A) or clause (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (B), or in making determinations under subparagraphs (C) and (D), the Attorney General shall consider any credible evidence relevant to the petition. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Attorney General.

(K) Upon the approval of a petition as a VAWA self-petitioner, the alien--

(i) is eligible for work authorization; and

(ii) may be provided an “employment authorized” endorsement or appropriate work permit incidental to such approval.

(L) Notwithstanding the previous provisions of this paragraph, an individual who was a VAWA petitioner or who had the status of a nonimmigrant under subparagraph (T) or (U) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title may not file a petition for classification under this section or section 1184 of this title to classify any person who committed the battery or extreme cruelty or trafficking against the individual (or the individual's child [FN2]) which established the individual's (or individual's child) eligibility as a VAWA petitioner or for such nonimmigrant status.

(2)(A) The Attorney General may not approve a spousal second preference petition for the classification of the spouse of an alien if the alien, by virtue of a prior marriage, has been accorded the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence as the spouse of a citizen of the United States or as the spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, unless--

(i) a period of 5 years has elapsed after the date the alien acquired the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or

(ii) the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the Attorney General by clear and convincing evidence that the prior marriage (on the basis of which the alien obtained the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence) was not entered into for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws.

In this subparagraph, the term “spousal second preference petition” refers to a petition, seeking preference status under section 1153(a)(2) of this title, for an alien as a spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

(B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a petition filed for the classification of the spouse of an alien if the prior marriage of the alien was terminated by the death of his or her spouse.

(b) Investigation; consultation; approval; authorization to grant preference status
After an investigation of the facts in each case, and after consultation with the Secretary of Labor with respect to petitions to accord a status under section 1153(b)(2) or 1153(b)(3) of this title, the Attorney General shall, if he determines that the facts stated in the petition are true and that the alien in behalf of whom the petition is made is an immediate relative specified in section 1151(b) of this title or is eligible for preference under subsection (a) or (b) of section 1153 of this title, approve the petition and forward one copy thereof to the Department of State. The Secretary of State shall then authorize the consular officer concerned to grant the preference status.

(c) Limitation on orphan petitions approved for a single petitioner; prohibition against approval in cases of marriages entered into in order to evade immigration laws; restriction on future entry of aliens involved with marriage fraud
Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section no petition shall be approved if (1) the alien has previously been accorded, or has sought to be accorded, an immediate relative or preference status as the spouse of a citizen of the United States or the spouse of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, by reason of a marriage determined by the Attorney General to have been entered into for the purpose of evading the immigration laws, or (2) the Attorney General has determined that the alien has attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the purpose of evading the immigration laws.

(d) Recommendation of valid home-study
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section no petition may be approved on behalf of a child defined in subparagraph (F) or (G) of section 1101(b)(1) of this title unless a valid home-study has been favorably recommended by an agency of the State of the child's proposed residence, or by an agency authorized by that State to conduct such a study, or, in the case of a child adopted abroad, by an appropriate public or private adoption agency which is licensed in the United States.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b), no petition may be approved on behalf of a child defined in section 1101(b)(1)(G) of this title unless the Secretary of State has certified that the central authority of the child's country of origin has notified the United States central authority under the convention referred to in such section 1101(b)(1)(G) of this title that a United States citizen habitually resident in the United States has effected final adoption of the child, or has been granted custody of the child for the purpose of emigration and adoption, in accordance with such convention and the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000.

(e) Subsequent finding of non-entitlement to preference classification
Nothing in this section shall be construed to entitle an immigrant, in behalf of whom a petition under this section is approved, to be admitted [FN3] the United States as an immigrant under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of section 1153 of this title or as an immediate relative under section 1151(b) of this title if upon his arrival at a port of entry in the United States he is found not to be entitled to such classification.

(f) Preferential treatment for children fathered by United States citizens and born in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand after 1950 and before October 22, 1982
(1) Any alien claiming to be an alien described in paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection (or any person on behalf of such an alien) may file a petition with the Attorney General for classification under section 1151(b), 1153(a)(1), or 1153(a)(3) of this title, as appropriate. After an investigation of the facts of each case the Attorney General shall, if the conditions described in paragraph (2) are met, approve the petition and forward one copy to the Secretary of State.

(2) The Attorney General may approve a petition for an alien under paragraph (1) if--

(A) he has reason to believe that the alien (i) was born in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Kampuchea, or Thailand after 1950 and before October 22, 1982, and (ii) was fathered by a United States citizen;

(B) he has received an acceptable guarantee of legal custody and financial responsibility described in paragraph (4); and

(C) in the case of an alien under eighteen years of age, (i) the alien's placement with a sponsor in the United States has been arranged by an appropriate public, private, or State child welfare agency licensed in the United States and actively involved in the intercountry placement of children and (ii) the alien's mother or guardian has in writing irrevocably released the alien for emigration.

(3) In considering petitions filed under paragraph (1), the Attorney General shall--

(A) consult with appropriate governmental officials and officials of private voluntary organizations in the country of the alien's birth in order to make the determinations described in subparagraphs (A) and (C)(ii) of paragraph (2); and

(B) consider the physical appearance of the alien and any evidence provided by the petitioner, including birth and baptismal certificates, local civil records, photographs of, and letters or proof of financial support from, a putative father who is a citizen of the United States, and the testimony of witnesses, to the extent it is relevant or probative.

(4)(A) A guarantee of legal custody and financial responsibility for an alien described in paragraph (2) must--

(i) be signed in the presence of an immigration officer or consular officer by an individual (hereinafter in this paragraph referred to as the “sponsor”) who is twenty-one years of age or older, is of good moral character, and is a citizen of the United States or alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, and

(ii) provide that the sponsor agrees (I) in the case of an alien under eighteen years of age, to assume legal custody for the alien after the alien's departure to the United States and until the alien becomes eighteen years of age, in accordance with the laws of the State where the alien and the sponsor will reside, and (II) to furnish, during the five-year period beginning on the date of the alien's acquiring the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or during the period beginning on the date of the alien's acquiring the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence and ending on the date on which the alien becomes twenty-one years of age, whichever period is longer, such financial support as is necessary to maintain the family in the United States of which the alien is a member at a level equal to at least 125 per centum of the current official poverty line (as established by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, under section 9902(2) of Title 42 and as revised by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the second and third sentences of such section) for a family of the same size as the size of the alien's family.

(B) A guarantee of legal custody and financial responsibility described in subparagraph (A) may be enforced with respect to an alien against his sponsor in a civil suit brought by the Attorney General in the United States district court for the district in which the sponsor resides, except that a sponsor or his estate shall not be liable under such a guarantee if the sponsor dies or is adjudicated a bankrupt under Title 11.

(g) Restriction on petitions based on marriages entered while in exclusion or deportation proceedings
Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, except as provided in section 1255(e)(3) of this title, a petition may not be approved to grant an alien immediate relative status or preference status by reason of a marriage which was entered into during the period described in section 1255(e)(2) of this title, until the alien has resided outside the United States for a 2-year period beginning after the date of the marriage.

(h) Survival of rights to petition
The legal termination of a marriage may not be the sole basis for revocation under section 1155 of this title of a petition filed under subsection (a)(1)(A)(iii) of this section or a petition filed under subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) of this section pursuant to conditions described in subsection (a)(1)(A)(iii)(I) of this section. Remarriage of an alien whose petition was approved under subsection (a)(1)(B)(ii) or (a)(1)(A)(iii) of this section or marriage of an alien described in clause (iv) or (vi) of subsection (a)(1)(A) of this section or in subsection (a)(1)(B)(iii) of this section shall not be the basis for revocation of a petition approval under section 1155 of this title.

(i) Professional athletes
(1) In general

A petition under subsection (a)(4)(D) [FN4] of this section for classification of a professional athlete shall remain valid for the athlete after the athlete changes employers, if the new employer is a team in the same sport as the team which was the employer who filed the petition.

(2) “Professional athlete” defined

For purposes of paragraph (1), the term “professional athlete” means an individual who is employed as an athlete by--

(A) a team that is a member of an association of 6 or more professional sports teams whose total combined revenues exceed $10,000,000 per year, if the association governs the conduct of its members and regulates the contests and exhibitions in which its member teams regularly engage; or

(B) any minor league team that is affiliated with such an association.

(j) Job flexibility for long delayed applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence
A petition under subsection (a)(1)(D) of this section for an individual whose application for adjustment of status pursuant to section 1255 of this title has been filed and remained unadjudicated for 180 days or more shall remain valid with respect to a new job if the individual changes jobs or employers if the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job for which the petition was filed.

(k) Procedures for unmarried sons and daughters of citizens
(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), in the case of a petition under this section initially filed for an alien unmarried son or daughter's classification as a family-sponsored immigrant under section 1153(a)(2)(B) of this title, based on a parent of the son or daughter being an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, if such parent subsequently becomes a naturalized citizen of the United States, such petition shall be converted to a petition to classify the unmarried son or daughter as a family-sponsored immigrant under section 1153(a)(1) of this title.

(2) Exception

Paragraph (1) does not apply if the son or daughter files with the Attorney General a written statement that he or she elects not to have such conversion occur (or if it has occurred, to have such conversion revoked). Where such an election has been made, any determination with respect to the son or daughter's eligibility for admission as a family-sponsored immigrant shall be made as if such naturalization had not taken place.

(3) Priority date

Regardless of whether a petition is converted under this subsection or not, if an unmarried son or daughter described in this subsection was assigned a priority date with respect to such petition before such naturalization, he or she may maintain that priority date.

(4) Clarification

This subsection shall apply to a petition if it is properly filed, regardless of whether it was approved or not before such naturalization.

(l) Surviving relative consideration for certain petitions and applications
(1) In general

An alien described in paragraph (2) who resided in the United States at the time of the death of the qualifying relative and who continues to reside in the United States shall have such petition described in paragraph (2), or an application for adjustment of status to that of a person admitted for lawful permanent residence based upon the family relationship described in paragraph (2), and any related applications, adjudicated notwithstanding the death of the qualifying relative, unless the Secretary of Homeland Security determines, in the unreviewable discretion of the Secretary, that approval would not be in the public interest.

(2) Alien described

An alien described in this paragraph is an alien who, immediately prior to the death of his or her qualifying relative, was--

(A) the beneficiary of a pending or approved petition for classification as an immediate relative (as described in section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title);

(B) the beneficiary of a pending or approved petition for classification under section 1153(a) or (d) of this title;

(C) a derivative beneficiary of a pending or approved petition for classification under section 1153(b) of this title (as described in section 1153(d) of this title);

(D) the beneficiary of a pending or approved refugee/asylee relative petition under section 1157 or 1158 of this title;

(E) an alien admitted in “T” nonimmigrant status as described in section 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of this title or in “U” nonimmigrant status as described in section 1101(a)(15)(U)(ii) of this title;

(F) a child of an alien who filed a pending or approved petition for classification or application for adjustment of status or other benefit specified in section 1101(a)(51) of this title as a VAWA self-petitioner; or

(G) an asylee (as described in section 1158(b)(3) of this title).

INA § 208 (8 USC § 1158)- Asylum

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

(a) Authority to apply for asylum
(1) In general

Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien's status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.

(2) Exceptions

(A) Safe third country

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the Attorney General determines that the alien may be removed, pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement, to a country (other than the country of the alien's nationality or, in the case of an alien having no nationality, the country of the alien's last habitual residence) in which the alien's life or freedom would not be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and where the alien would have access to a full and fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum or equivalent temporary protection, unless the Attorney General finds that it is in the public interest for the alien to receive asylum in the United States.

(B) Time limit

Subject to subparagraph (D), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien unless the alien demonstrates by clear and convincing evidence that the application has been filed within 1 year after the date of the alien's arrival in the United States.

(C) Previous asylum applications

Subject to subparagraph (D), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the alien has previously applied for asylum and had such application denied.

(D) Changed circumstances

An application for asylum of an alien may be considered, notwithstanding subparagraphs (B) and (C), if the alien demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Attorney General either the existence of changed circumstances which materially affect the applicant's eligibility for asylum or extraordinary circumstances relating to the delay in filing an application within the period specified in subparagraph (B).

(E) Applicability

Subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall not apply to an unaccompanied alien child (as defined in section 279(g) of Title 6).

(3) Limitation on judicial review

No court shall have jurisdiction to review any determination of the Attorney General under paragraph (2).

(b) Conditions for granting asylum
(1) In general

(A) Eligibility

The Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General may grant asylum to an alien who has applied for asylum in accordance with the requirements and procedures established by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General under this section if the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General determines that such alien is a refugee within the meaning of section 1101(a)(42)(A) of this title.

(B) Burden of proof

(i) In general

The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish that the applicant is a refugee, within the meaning of section 1101(a)(42)(A) of this title. To establish that the applicant is a refugee within the meaning of such section, the applicant must establish that race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.

(ii) Sustaining burden

The testimony of the applicant may be sufficient to sustain the applicant's burden without corroboration, but only if the applicant satisfies the trier of fact that the applicant's testimony is credible, is persuasive, and refers to specific facts sufficient to demonstrate that the applicant is a refugee. In determining whether the applicant has met the applicant's burden, the trier of fact may weigh the credible testimony along with other evidence of record. Where the trier of fact determines that the applicant should provide evidence that corroborates otherwise credible testimony, such evidence must be provided unless the applicant does not have the evidence and cannot reasonably obtain the evidence.

(iii) Credibility determination

Considering the totality of the circumstances, and all relevant factors, a trier of fact may base a credibility determination on the demeanor, candor, or responsiveness of the applicant or witness, the inherent plausibility of the applicant's or witness's account, the consistency between the applicant's or witness's written and oral statements (whenever made and whether or not under oath, and considering the circumstances under which the statements were made), the internal consistency of each such statement, the consistency of such statements with other evidence of record (including the reports of the Department of State on country conditions), and any inaccuracies or falsehoods in such statements, without regard to whether an inconsistency, inaccuracy, or falsehood goes to the heart of the applicant's claim, or any other relevant factor. There is no presumption of credibility, however, if no adverse credibility determination is explicitly made, the applicant or witness shall have a rebuttable presumption of credibility on appeal.

(2) Exceptions

(A) In general

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the Attorney General determines that--

(i) the alien ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;

(ii) the alien, having been convicted by a final judgment of a particularly serious crime, constitutes a danger to the community of the United States;

(iii) there are serious reasons for believing that the alien has committed a serious nonpolitical crime outside the United States prior to the arrival of the alien in the United States;

(iv) there are reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a danger to the security of the United States;

(v) the alien is described in subclause (I), (II), (III), (IV), or (VI) of section 1182(a)(3)(B)(i) of this title or section 1227(a)(4)(B) of this title (relating to terrorist activity), unless, in the case only of an alien described in subclause (IV) of section 1182(a)(3)(B)(i) of this title, the Attorney General determines, in the Attorney General's discretion, that there are not reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a danger to the security of the United States; or

(vi) the alien was firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States.

(B) Special rules

(i) Conviction of aggravated felony

For purposes of clause (ii) of subparagraph (A), an alien who has been convicted of an aggravated felony shall be considered to have been convicted of a particularly serious crime.

(ii) Offenses

The Attorney General may designate by regulation offenses that will be considered to be a crime described in clause (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (A).

(C) Additional limitations

The Attorney General may by regulation establish additional limitations and conditions, consistent with this section, under which an alien shall be ineligible for asylum under paragraph (1).

(D) No judicial review

There shall be no judicial review of a determination of the Attorney General under subparagraph (A)(v).

(3) Treatment of spouse and children

(A) In general

A spouse or child (as defined in section 1101(b)(1) (A), (B), (C), (D), or (E) of this title) of an alien who is granted asylum under this subsection may, if not otherwise eligible for asylum under this section, be granted the same status as the alien if accompanying, or following to join, such alien.

(B) Continued classification of certain aliens as children

An unmarried alien who seeks to accompany, or follow to join, a parent granted asylum under this subsection, and who was under 21 years of age on the date on which such parent applied for asylum under this section, shall continue to be classified as a child for purposes of this paragraph and section 1159(b)(3) of this title, if the alien attained 21 years of age after such application was filed but while it was pending.

(C) Initial jurisdiction

An asylum officer (as defined in section 1225(b)(1)(E) of this title) shall have initial jurisdiction over any asylum application filed by an unaccompanied alien child (as defined in section 279(g) of Title 6), regardless of whether filed in accordance with this section or section 1225(b) of this title.

(c) Asylum status
(1) In general

In the case of an alien granted asylum under subsection (b) of this section, the Attorney General--

(A) shall not remove or return the alien to the alien's country of nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, the country of the alien's last habitual residence;

(B) shall authorize the alien to engage in employment in the United States and provide the alien with appropriate endorsement of that authorization; and

(C) may allow the alien to travel abroad with the prior consent of the Attorney General.

(2) Termination of asylum

Asylum granted under subsection (b) of this section does not convey a right to remain permanently in the United States, and may be terminated if the Attorney General determines that--

(A) the alien no longer meets the conditions described in subsection (b)(1) of this section owing to a fundamental change in circumstances;

(B) the alien meets a condition described in subsection (b)(2) of this section;

(C) the alien may be removed, pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement, to a country (other than the country of the alien's nationality or, in the case of an alien having no nationality, the country of the alien's last habitual residence) in which the alien's life or freedom would not be threatened on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, and where the alien is eligible to receive asylum or equivalent temporary protection;

(D) the alien has voluntarily availed himself or herself of the protection of the alien's country of nationality or, in the case of an alien having no nationality, the alien's country of last habitual residence, by returning to such country with permanent resident status or the reasonable possibility of obtaining such status with the same rights and obligations pertaining to other permanent residents of that country; or

(E) the alien has acquired a new nationality and enjoys the protection of the country of his or her new nationality.

(3) Removal when asylum is terminated

An alien described in paragraph (2) is subject to any applicable grounds of inadmissibility or deportability under section [FN1] 1182(a) and 1227(a) of this title, and the alien's removal or return shall be directed by the Attorney General in accordance with sections 1229a and 1231 of this title.

(d) Asylum procedure
(1) Applications

The Attorney General shall establish a procedure for the consideration of asylum applications filed under subsection (a) of this section. The Attorney General may require applicants to submit fingerprints and a photograph at such time and in such manner to be determined by regulation by the Attorney General.

(2) Employment

An applicant for asylum is not entitled to employment authorization, but such authorization may be provided under regulation by the Attorney General. An applicant who is not otherwise eligible for employment authorization shall not be granted such authorization prior to 180 days after the date of filing of the application for asylum.

(3) Fees

The Attorney General may impose fees for the consideration of an application for asylum, for employment authorization under this section, and for adjustment of status under section 1159(b) of this title. Such fees shall not exceed the Attorney General's costs in adjudicating the applications. The Attorney General may provide for the assessment and payment of such fees over a period of time or by installments. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require the Attorney General to charge fees for adjudication services provided to asylum applicants, or to limit the authority of the Attorney General to set adjudication and naturalization fees in accordance with section 1356(m) of this title.

(4) Notice of privilege of counsel and consequences of frivolous application

At the time of filing an application for asylum, the Attorney General shall--

(A) advise the alien of the privilege of being represented by counsel and of the consequences, under paragraph (6), of knowingly filing a frivolous application for asylum; and

(B) provide the alien a list of persons (updated not less often than quarterly) who have indicated their availability to represent aliens in asylum proceedings on a pro bono basis.

(5) Consideration of asylum applications

(A) Procedures

The procedure established under paragraph (1) shall provide that--

(i) asylum cannot be granted until the identity of the applicant has been checked against all appropriate records or databases maintained by the Attorney General and by the Secretary of State, including the Automated Visa Lookout System, to determine any grounds on which the alien may be inadmissible to or deportable from the United States, or ineligible to apply for or be granted asylum;

(ii) in the absence of exceptional circumstances, the initial interview or hearing on the asylum application shall commence not later than 45 days after the date an application is filed;

(iii) in the absence of exceptional circumstances, final administrative adjudication of the asylum application, not including administrative appeal, shall be completed within 180 days after the date an application is filed;

(iv) any administrative appeal shall be filed within 30 days of a decision granting or denying asylum, or within 30 days of the completion of removal proceedings before an immigration judge under section 1229a of this title, whichever is later; and

(v) in the case of an applicant for asylum who fails without prior authorization or in the absence of exceptional circumstances to appear for an interview or hearing, including a hearing under section 1229a of this title, the application may be dismissed or the applicant may be otherwise sanctioned for such failure.

(B) Additional regulatory conditions

The Attorney General may provide by regulation for any other conditions or limitations on the consideration of an application for asylum not inconsistent with this chapter.

(6) Frivolous applications

If the Attorney General determines that an alien has knowingly made a frivolous application for asylum and the alien has received the notice under paragraph (4)(A), the alien shall be permanently ineligible for any benefits under this chapter, effective as of the date of a final determination on such application.

(7) No private right of action

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to create any substantive or procedural right or benefit that is legally enforceable by any party against the United States or its agencies or officers or any other person.

(e) Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
The provisions of this section and section 1159(b) of this title shall apply to persons physically present in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or arriving in the Commonwealth (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including persons who are brought to the Commonwealth after having been interdicted in international or United States waters) only on or after January 1, 2014.

INA § 209 (8 USC § 1159)- Refugees

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

(a) Inspection and examination by Department of Homeland Security
(1) Any alien who has been admitted to the United States under section 1157 of this title--

(A) whose admission has not been terminated by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General pursuant to such regulations as the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General may prescribe,

(B) who has been physically present in the United States for at least one year, and

(C) who has not acquired permanent resident status,

shall, at the end of such year period, return or be returned to the custody of the Department of Homeland Security for inspection and examination for admission to the United States as an immigrant in accordance with the provisions of sections 1225, 1229a, and 1231 of this title.

(2) Any alien who is found upon inspection and examination by an immigration officer pursuant to paragraph (1) or after a hearing before an immigration judge to be admissible (except as otherwise provided under subsection (c) of this section) as an immigrant under this chapter at the time of the alien's inspection and examination shall, notwithstanding any numerical limitation specified in this chapter, be regarded as lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence as of the date of such alien's arrival into the United States.

(b) Requirements for adjustment
The Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, in the Secretary's or the Attorney General's discretion and under such regulations as the Secretary or the Attorney General may prescribe, may adjust to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence the status of any alien granted asylum who--

(1) applies for such adjustment,

(2) has been physically present in the United States for at least one year after being granted asylum,

(3) continues to be a refugee within the meaning of section 1101(a)(42)(A) of this title or a spouse or child of such a refugee,

(4) is not firmly resettled in any foreign country, and

(5) is admissible (except as otherwise provided under subsection (c) of this section) as an immigrant under this chapter at the time of examination for adjustment of such alien.

Upon approval of an application under this subsection, the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General shall establish a record of the alien's admission for lawful permanent residence as of the date one year before the date of the approval of the application.

(c) Coordination with section 1182
The provisions of paragraphs (4), (5), and (7)(A) of section 1182(a) of this title shall not be applicable to any alien seeking adjustment of status under this section, and the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General may waive any other provision of such section (other than paragraph (2)(C) or subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (E) of paragraph (3)) with respect to such an alien for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest.

INA § 212 (8 USC § 1182)- Inadmissible aliens

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

(a) Classes of aliens ineligible for visas or admission
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, aliens who are inadmissible under the following paragraphs are ineligible to receive visas and ineligible to be admitted to the United States:

(1) Health-related grounds

(A) In general

Any alien--

(i) who is determined (in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) to have a communicable disease of public health significance;

(ii) except as provided in subparagraph (C), who seeks admission as an immigrant, or who seeks adjustment of status to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, and who has failed to present documentation of having received vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases, which shall include at least the following diseases: mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B, and any other vaccinations against vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices,

(iii) who is determined (in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Attorney General)--

(I) to have a physical or mental disorder and behavior associated with the disorder that may pose, or has posed, a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others, or

(II) to have had a physical or mental disorder and a history of behavior associated with the disorder, which behavior has posed a threat to the property, safety, or welfare of the alien or others and which behavior is likely to recur or to lead to other harmful behavior, or

(iv) who is determined (in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) to be a drug abuser or addict,

is inadmissible.

(B) Waiver authorized

For provision authorizing waiver of certain clauses of subparagraph (A), see subsection (g) of this section.

(C) Exception from immunization requirement for adopted children 10 years of age or younger

Clause (ii) of subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a child who--

(i) is 10 years of age or younger,

(ii) is described in subparagraph (F) or (G) of section 1101(b)(1) of this title; and

(iii) is seeking an immigrant visa as an immediate relative under section 1151(b) of this title,

if, prior to the admission of the child, an adoptive parent or prospective adoptive parent of the child, who has sponsored the child for admission as an immediate relative, has executed an affidavit stating that the parent is aware of the provisions of subparagraph (A)(ii) and will ensure that, within 30 days of the child's admission, or at the earliest time that is medically appropriate, the child will receive the vaccinations identified in such subparagraph.

(2) Criminal and related grounds

(A) Conviction of certain crimes

(i) In general

Except as provided in clause (ii), any alien convicted of, or who admits having committed, or who admits committing acts which constitute the essential elements of--

(I) a crime involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense) or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime, or

(II) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 802 of Title 21),

is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception

Clause (i)(I) shall not apply to an alien who committed only one crime if--

(I) the crime was committed when the alien was under 18 years of age, and the crime was committed (and the alien released from any confinement to a prison or correctional institution imposed for the crime) more than 5 years before the date of application for a visa or other documentation and the date of application for admission to the United States, or

(II) the maximum penalty possible for the crime of which the alien was convicted (or which the alien admits having committed or of which the acts that the alien admits having committed constituted the essential elements) did not exceed imprisonment for one year and, if the alien was convicted of such crime, the alien was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of 6 months (regardless of the extent to which the sentence was ultimately executed).

(B) Multiple criminal convictions

Any alien convicted of 2 or more offenses (other than purely political offenses), regardless of whether the conviction was in a single trial or whether the offenses arose from a single scheme of misconduct and regardless of whether the offenses involved moral turpitude, for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were 5 years or more is inadmissible.

(C) Controlled substance traffickers

Any alien who the consular officer or the Attorney General knows or has reason to believe--

(i) is or has been an illicit trafficker in any controlled substance or in any listed chemical (as defined in section 802 of Title 21), or is or has been a knowing aider, abettor, assister, conspirator, or colluder with others in the illicit trafficking in any such controlled or listed substance or chemical, or endeavored to do so; or

(ii) is the spouse, son, or daughter of an alien inadmissible under clause (i), has, within the previous 5 years, obtained any financial or other benefit from the illicit activity of that alien, and knew or reasonably should have known that the financial or other benefit was the product of such illicit activity,

is inadmissible.

(D) Prostitution and commercialized vice

Any alien who--

(i) is coming to the United States solely, principally, or incidentally to engage in prostitution, or has engaged in prostitution within 10 years of the date of application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status,

(ii) directly or indirectly procures or attempts to procure, or (within 10 years of the date of application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status) procured or attempted to procure or to import, prostitutes or persons for the purpose of prostitution, or receives or (within such 10-year period) received, in whole or in part, the proceeds of prostitution, or

(iii) is coming to the United States to engage in any other unlawful commercialized vice, whether or not related to prostitution,

is inadmissible.

(E) Certain aliens involved in serious criminal activity who have asserted immunity from prosecution

Any alien--

(i) who has committed in the United States at any time a serious criminal offense (as defined in section 1101(h) of this title),

(ii) for whom immunity from criminal jurisdiction was exercised with respect to that offense,

(iii) who as a consequence of the offense and exercise of immunity has departed from the United States, and

(iv) who has not subsequently submitted fully to the jurisdiction of the court in the United States having jurisdiction with respect to that offense,

is inadmissible.

(F) Waiver authorized

For provision authorizing waiver of certain subparagraphs of this paragraph, see subsection (h) of this section.

(G) Foreign government officials who have committed particularly severe violations of religious freedom

Any alien who, while serving as a foreign government official, was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time, particularly severe violations of religious freedom, as defined in section 6402 of Title 22, is inadmissible.

(H) Significant traffickers in persons

(i) In general

Any alien who commits or conspires to commit human trafficking offenses in the United States or outside the United States, or who the consular officer, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State, or the Attorney General knows or has reason to believe is or has been a knowing aider, abettor, assister, conspirator, or colluder with such a trafficker in severe forms of trafficking in persons, as defined in the section 7102 of Title 22, is inadmissible.

(ii) Beneficiaries of trafficking

Except as provided in clause (iii), any alien who the consular officer or the Attorney General knows or has reason to believe is the spouse, son, or daughter of an alien inadmissible under clause (i), has, within the previous 5 years, obtained any financial or other benefit from the illicit activity of that alien, and knew or reasonably should have known that the financial or other benefit was the product of such illicit activity, is inadmissible.

(iii) Exception for certain sons and daughters

Clause (ii) shall not apply to a son or daughter who was a child at the time he or she received the benefit described in such clause.

(I) Money laundering

Any alien--

(i) who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reason to believe, has engaged, is engaging, or seeks to enter the United States to engage, in an offense which is described in section 1956 or 1957 of Title 18 (relating to laundering of monetary instruments); or

(ii) who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows is, or has been, a knowing aider, abettor, assister, conspirator, or colluder with others in an offense which is described in such section;

is inadmissible.

(3) Security and related grounds

(A) In general

Any alien who a consular officer or the Attorney General knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, seeks to enter the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in--

(i) any activity (I) to violate any law of the United States relating to espionage or sabotage or (II) to violate or evade any law prohibiting the export from the United States of goods, technology, or sensitive information,

(ii) any other unlawful activity, or

(iii) any activity a purpose of which is the opposition to, or the control or overthrow of, the Government of the United States by force, violence, or other unlawful means,

is inadmissible.

(B) Terrorist activities

(i) In general

Any alien who--

(I) has engaged in a terrorist activity;

(II) a consular officer, the Attorney General, or the Secretary of Homeland Security knows, or has reasonable ground to believe, is engaged in or is likely to engage after entry in any terrorist activity (as defined in clause (iv));

(III) has, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily harm, incited terrorist activity;

(IV) is a representative (as defined in clause (v)) of--

(aa) a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or

(bb) a political, social, or other group that endorses or espouses terrorist activity;

(V) is a member of a terrorist organization described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (vi);

(VI) is a member of a terrorist organization described in clause (vi) (III), unless the alien can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the alien did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization;

(VII) endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization;

(VIII) has received military-type training (as defined in section 2339D(c)(1) of Title 18) from or on behalf of any organization that, at the time the training was received, was a terrorist organization (as defined in clause (vi)); or

(IX) is the spouse or child of an alien who is inadmissible under this subparagraph, if the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible occurred within the last 5 years, is inadmissible.

An alien who is an officer, official, representative, or spokesman of the Palestine Liberation Organization is considered, for purposes of this chapter, to be engaged in a terrorist activity.

(ii) Exception

Subclause (IX) of clause (i) does not apply to a spouse or child--

(I) who did not know or should not reasonably have known of the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible under this section; or

(II) whom the consular officer or Attorney General has reasonable grounds to believe has renounced the activity causing the alien to be found inadmissible under this section.

(iii) “Terrorist activity” defined

As used in this chapter, the term “terrorist activity” means any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed (or which, if it had been committed in the United States, would be unlawful under the laws of the United States or any State) and which involves any of the following:

(I) The highjacking or sabotage of any conveyance (including an aircraft, vessel, or vehicle).

(II) The seizing or detaining, and threatening to kill, injure, or continue to detain, another individual in order to compel a third person (including a governmental organization) to do or abstain from doing any act as an explicit or implicit condition for the release of the individual seized or detained.

(III) A violent attack upon an internationally protected person (as defined in section 1116(b)(4) of Title 18) or upon the liberty of such a person.

(IV) An assassination.

(V) The use of any--

(a) biological agent, chemical agent, or nuclear weapon or device, or

(b) explosive, firearm, or other weapon or dangerous device (other than for mere personal monetary gain),

with intent to endanger, directly or indirectly, the safety of one or more individuals or to cause substantial damage to property.

(VI) A threat, attempt, or conspiracy to do any of the foregoing.

(iv) “Engage in terrorist activity” defined

As used in this chapter, the term “engage in terrorist activity” means, in an individual capacity or as a member of an organization--

(I) to commit or to incite to commit, under circumstances indicating an intention to cause death or serious bodily injury, a terrorist activity;

(II) to prepare or plan a terrorist activity;

(III) to gather information on potential targets for terrorist activity;

(IV) to solicit funds or other things of value for--

(aa) a terrorist activity;

(bb) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization;

(V) to solicit any individual--

(aa) to engage in conduct otherwise described in this subsection;

(bb) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(I) or (vi)(II); or

(cc) for membership in a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III) unless the solicitor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization; or

(VI) to commit an act that the actor knows, or reasonably should know, affords material support, including a safe house, transportation, communications, funds, transfer of funds or other material financial benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons (including chemical, biological, or radiological weapons), explosives, or training--

(aa) for the commission of a terrorist activity;

(bb) to any individual who the actor knows, or reasonably should know, has committed or plans to commit a terrorist activity;

(cc) to a terrorist organization described in subclause (I) or (II) of clause (vi) or to any member of such an organization; or

(dd) to a terrorist organization described in clause (vi)(III), or to any member of such an organization, unless the actor can demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the actor did not know, and should not reasonably have known, that the organization was a terrorist organization.

(v) “Representative” defined

As used in this paragraph, the term “representative” includes an officer, official, or spokesman of an organization, and any person who directs, counsels, commands, or induces an organization or its members to engage in terrorist activity.

(vi) “Terrorist organization” defined

As used in this section, the term “terrorist organization” means an organization--

(I) designated under section 1189 of this title;

(II) otherwise designated, upon publication in the Federal Register, by the Secretary of State in consultation with or upon the request of the Attorney General or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as a terrorist organization, after finding that the organization engages in the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv); or

(III) that is a group of two or more individuals, whether organized or not, which engages in, or has a subgroup which engages in, the activities described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of clause (iv).

(C) Foreign policy

(i) In general

An alien whose entry or proposed activities in the United States the Secretary of State has reasonable ground to believe would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception for officials

An alien who is an official of a foreign government or a purported government, or who is a candidate for election to a foreign government office during the period immediately preceding the election for that office, shall not be excludable or subject to restrictions or conditions on entry into the United States under clause (i) solely because of the alien's past, current, or expected beliefs, statements, or associations, if such beliefs, statements, or associations would be lawful within the United States.

(iii) Exception for other aliens

An alien, not described in clause (ii), shall not be excludable or subject to restrictions or conditions on entry into the United States under clause (i) because of the alien's past, current, or expected beliefs, statements, or associations, if such beliefs, statements, or associations would be lawful within the United States, unless the Secretary of State personally determines that the alien's admission would compromise a compelling United States foreign policy interest.

(iv) Notification of determinations

If a determination is made under clause (iii) with respect to an alien, the Secretary of State must notify on a timely basis the chairmen of the Committees on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives and of the Committees on the Judiciary and Foreign Relations of the Senate of the identity of the alien and the reasons for the determination.

(D) Immigrant membership in totalitarian party

(i) In general

Any immigrant who is or has been a member of or affiliated with the Communist or any other totalitarian party (or subdivision or affiliate thereof), domestic or foreign, is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception for involuntary membership

Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien because of membership or affiliation if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer when applying for a visa (or to the satisfaction of the Attorney General when applying for admission) that the membership or affiliation is or was involuntary, or is or was solely when under 16 years of age, by operation of law, or for purposes of obtaining employment, food rations, or other essentials of living and whether necessary for such purposes.

(iii) Exception for past membership

Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien because of membership or affiliation if the alien establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer when applying for a visa (or to the satisfaction of the Attorney General when applying for admission) that--

(I) the membership or affiliation terminated at least--

(a) 2 years before the date of such application, or

(b) 5 years before the date of such application, in the case of an alien whose membership or affiliation was with the party controlling the government of a foreign state that is a totalitarian dictatorship as of such date, and

(II) the alien is not a threat to the security of the United States.

(iv) Exception for close family members

The Attorney General may, in the Attorney General's discretion, waive the application of clause (i) in the case of an immigrant who is the parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother, or sister of a citizen of the United States or a spouse, son, or daughter of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest if the immigrant is not a threat to the security of the United States.

(E) Participants in Nazi persecution, genocide, or the commission of any act of torture or extrajudicial killing

(i) Participation in Nazi persecutions

Any alien who, during the period beginning on March 23, 1933, and ending on May 8, 1945, under the direction of, or in association with--

(I) the Nazi government of Germany,

(II) any government in any area occupied by the military forces of the Nazi government of Germany,

(III) any government established with the assistance or cooperation of the Nazi government of Germany, or

(IV) any government which was an ally of the Nazi government of Germany,

ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the persecution of any person because of race, religion, national origin, or political opinion is inadmissible.

(ii) Participation in genocide

Any alien who ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide, as defined in section 1091(a) of Title 18, is inadmissible.

(iii) Commission of acts of torture or extrajudicial killings

Any alien who, outside the United States, has committed, ordered, incited, assisted, or otherwise participated in the commission of--

(I) any act of torture, as defined in section 2340 of Title 18; or

(II) under color of law of any foreign nation, any extrajudicial killing, as defined in section 3(a) of the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 (28 U.S.C. 1350 note),

is inadmissible.

(F) Association with terrorist organizations

Any alien who the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Attorney General, or the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of State, determines has been associated with a terrorist organization and intends while in the United States to engage solely, principally, or incidentally in activities that could endanger the welfare, safety, or security of the United States is inadmissible.

(G) Recruitment or use of child soldiers

Any alien who has engaged in the recruitment or use of child soldiers in violation of section 2442 of Title 18, is inadmissible.

(4) Public charge

(A) In general

Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.

(B) Factors to be taken into account

(i) In determining whether an alien is inadmissible under this paragraph, the consular officer or the Attorney General shall at a minimum consider the alien's--

(I) age;

(II) health;

(III) family status;

(IV) assets, resources, and financial status; and

(V) education and skills.

(ii) In addition to the factors under clause (i), the consular officer or the Attorney General may also consider any affidavit of support under section 1183a of this title for purposes of exclusion under this paragraph.

(C) Family-sponsored immigrants

Any alien who seeks admission or adjustment of status under a visa number issued under section 1151(b)(2) or 1153(a) of this title is inadmissible under this paragraph unless--

(i) the alien has obtained--

(I) status as a spouse or a child of a United States citizen pursuant to clause (ii), (iii), or (iv) of section 1154(a)(1)(A) of this title;

(II) classification pursuant to clause (ii) or (iii) of section 1154(a)(1)(B) of this title; or

(III) classification or status as a VAWA self-petitioner; or

(ii) the person petitioning for the alien's admission (and any additional sponsor required under section 1183a(f) of this title or any alternative sponsor permitted under paragraph (5)(B) of such section) has executed an affidavit of support described in section 1183a of this title with respect to such alien.

(D) Certain employment-based immigrants

Any alien who seeks admission or adjustment of status under a visa number issued under section 1153(b) of this title by virtue of a classification petition filed by a relative of the alien (or by an entity in which such relative has a significant ownership interest) is inadmissible under this paragraph unless such relative has executed an affidavit of support described in section 1183a of this title with respect to such alien.

(E) Special rule for qualified alien victims
Subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) shall not apply to an alien who--
(i) is a VAWA self-petitioner;
(ii) is an applicant for, or is granted, nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title; or
(iii) is a qualified alien described in section 1641(c) of this title.

(5) Labor certification and qualifications for certain immigrants

(A) Labor certification

(i) In general

Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that--

(I) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified (or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and

(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.

(ii) Certain aliens subject to special rule

For purposes of clause (i)(I), an alien described in this clause is an alien who--

(I) is a member of the teaching profession, or

(II) has exceptional ability in the sciences or the arts.

(iii) Professional athletes

(I) In general

A certification made under clause (i) with respect to a professional athlete shall remain valid with respect to the athlete after the athlete changes employer, if the new employer is a team in the same sport as the team which employed the athlete when the athlete first applied for the certification.

(II) “Professional athlete” defined

For purposes of subclause (I), the term “professional athlete” means an individual who is employed as an athlete by--

(aa) a team that is a member of an association of 6 or more professional sports teams whose total combined revenues exceed $10,000,000 per year, if the association governs the conduct of its members and regulates the contests and exhibitions in which its member teams regularly engage; or

(bb) any minor league team that is affiliated with such an association.

(iv) Long delayed adjustment applicants

A certification made under clause (i) with respect to an individual whose petition is covered by section 1154(j) of this title shall remain valid with respect to a new job accepted by the individual after the individual changes jobs or employers if the new job is in the same or a similar occupational classification as the job for which the certification was issued.

(B) Unqualified physicians

An alien who is a graduate of a medical school not accredited by a body or bodies approved for the purpose by the Secretary of Education (regardless of whether such school of medicine is in the United States) and who is coming to the United States principally to perform services as a member of the medical profession is inadmissible, unless the alien (i) has passed parts I and II of the National Board of Medical Examiners Examination (or an equivalent examination as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services) and (ii) is competent in oral and written English. For purposes of the previous sentence, an alien who is a graduate of a medical school shall be considered to have passed parts I and II of the National Board of Medical Examiners if the alien was fully and permanently licensed to practice medicine in a State on January 9, 1978, and was practicing medicine in a State on that date.

(C) Uncertified foreign health-care workers

Subject to subsection (r) of this section, any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing labor as a health-care worker, other than a physician, is inadmissible unless the alien presents to the consular officer, or, in the case of an adjustment of status, the Attorney General, a certificate from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools, or a certificate from an equivalent independent credentialing organization approved by the Attorney General in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, verifying that--

(i) the alien's education, training, license, and experience--

(I) meet all applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for entry into the United States under the classification specified in the application;

(II) are comparable with that required for an American health-care worker of the same type; and

(III) are authentic and, in the case of a license, unencumbered;

(ii) the alien has the level of competence in oral and written English considered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretary of Education, to be appropriate for health care work of the kind in which the alien will be engaged, as shown by an appropriate score on one or more nationally recognized, commercially available, standardized assessments of the applicant's ability to speak and write; and

(iii) if a majority of States licensing the profession in which the alien intends to work recognize a test predicting the success on the profession's licensing or certification examination, the alien has passed such a test or has passed such an examination.

For purposes of clause (ii), determination of the standardized tests required and of the minimum scores that are appropriate are within the sole discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services and are not subject to further administrative or judicial review.

(D) Application of grounds

The grounds for inadmissibility of aliens under subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall apply to immigrants seeking admission or adjustment of status under paragraph (2) or (3) of section 1153(b) of this title.

(6) Illegal entrants and immigration violators

(A) Aliens present without admission or parole

(i) In general

An alien present in the United States without being admitted or paroled, or who arrives in the United States at any time or place other than as designated by the Attorney General, is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception for certain battered women and children

Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien who demonstrates that--

(I) the alien is a VAWA self-petitioner;

(II) (a) the alien has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent, or by a member of the spouse's or parent's family residing in the same household as the alien and the spouse or parent consented or acquiesced to such battery or cruelty, or (b) the alien's child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by a spouse or parent of the alien (without the active participation of the alien in the battery or cruelty) or by a member of the spouse's or parent's family residing in the same household as the alien when the spouse or parent consented to or acquiesced in such battery or cruelty and the alien did not actively participate in such battery or cruelty, and

(III) there was a substantial connection between the battery or cruelty described in subclause (I) or (II) and the alien's unlawful entry into the United States.

(B) Failure to attend removal proceeding

Any alien who without reasonable cause fails or refuses to attend or remain in attendance at a proceeding to determine the alien's inadmissibility or deportability and who seeks admission to the United States within 5 years of such alien's subsequent departure or removal is inadmissible.

(C) Misrepresentation

(i) In general

Any alien who, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure (or has sought to procure or has procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the United States or other benefit provided under this chapter is inadmissible.

(ii) Falsely claiming citizenship

(I) In general

Any alien who falsely represents, or has falsely represented, himself or herself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under this chapter (including section 1324a of this title) or any other Federal or State law is inadmissible.

(II) Exception

In the case of an alien making a representation described in subclause (I), if each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization), the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16, and the alien reasonably believed at the time of making such representation that he or she was a citizen, the alien shall not be considered to be inadmissible under any provision of this subsection based on such representation.

(iii) Waiver authorized

For provision authorizing waiver of clause (i), see subsection (i) of this section.

(D) Stowaways

Any alien who is a stowaway is inadmissible.

(E) Smugglers

(i) In general

Any alien who at any time knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law is inadmissible.

(ii) Special rule in the case of family reunification

Clause (i) shall not apply in the case of alien who is an eligible immigrant (as defined in section 301(b)(1) of the Immigration Act of 1990), was physically present in the United States on May 5, 1988, and is seeking admission as an immediate relative or under section 1153(a)(2) of this title (including under section 112 of the Immigration Act of 1990) or benefits under section 301(a) of the Immigration Act of 1990 if the alien, before May 5, 1988, has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided only the alien's spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual) to enter the United States in violation of law.

(iii) Waiver authorized

For provision authorizing waiver of clause (i), see subsection (d)(11) of this section.

(F) Subject of civil penalty

(i) In general

An alien who is the subject of a final order for violation of section 1324c of this title is inadmissible.

(ii) Waiver authorized

For provision authorizing waiver of clause (i), see subsection (d)(12) of this section.

(G) Student visa abusers

An alien who obtains the status of a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(F)(i) of this title and who violates a term or condition of such status under section 1184(l) of this title is inadmissible until the alien has been outside the United States for a continuous period of 5 years after the date of the violation.

(7) Documentation requirements

(A) Immigrants

(i) In general

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, any immigrant at the time of application for admission--

(I) who is not in possession of a valid unexpired immigrant visa, reentry permit, border crossing identification card, or other valid entry document required by this chapter, and a valid unexpired passport, or other suitable travel document, or document of identity and nationality if such document is required under the regulations issued by the Attorney General under section 1181(a) of this title, or

(II) whose visa has been issued without compliance with the provisions of section 1153 of this title,

is inadmissible.

(ii) Waiver authorized

For provision authorizing waiver of clause (i), see subsection (k) of this section.

(B) Nonimmigrants

(i) In general

Any nonimmigrant who--

(I) is not in possession of a passport valid for a minimum of six months from the date of the expiration of the initial period of the alien's admission or contemplated initial period of stay authorizing the alien to return to the country from which the alien came or to proceed to and enter some other country during such period, or

(II) is not in possession of a valid nonimmigrant visa or border crossing identification card at the time of application for admission,

is inadmissible.

(ii) General waiver authorized

For provision authorizing waiver of clause (i), see subsection (d)(4) of this section.

(iii) Guam and Northern Mariana Islands visa waiver

For provision authorizing waiver of clause (i) in the case of visitors to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, see subsection (l) of this section.

(iv) Visa waiver program

For authority to waive the requirement of clause (i) under a program, see section 1187 of this title.

(8) Ineligible for citizenship

(A) In general

Any immigrant who is permanently ineligible to citizenship is inadmissible.

(B) Draft evaders

Any person who has departed from or who has remained outside the United States to avoid or evade training or service in the armed forces in time of war or a period declared by the President to be a national emergency is inadmissible, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to an alien who at the time of such departure was a nonimmigrant and who is seeking to reenter the United States as a nonimmigrant.

(9) Aliens previously removed

(A) Certain aliens previously removed

(i) Arriving aliens

Any alien who has been ordered removed under section 1225(b)(1) of this title or at the end of proceedings under section 1229a of this title initiated upon the alien's arrival in the United States and who again seeks admission within 5 years of the date of such removal (or within 20 years in the case of a second or subsequent removal or at any time in the case of an alien convicted of an aggravated felony) is inadmissible.

(ii) Other aliens

Any alien not described in clause (i) who--

(I) has been ordered removed under section 1229a of this title or any other provision of law, or

(II) departed the United States while an order of removal was outstanding,

and who seeks admission within 10 years of the date of such alien's departure or removal (or within 20 years of such date in the case of a second or subsequent removal or at any time in the case of an alien convicted of an aggravated felony) is inadmissible.

(iii) Exception

Clauses (i) and (ii) shall not apply to an alien seeking admission within a period if, prior to the date of the alien's reembarkation at a place outside the United States or attempt to be admitted from foreign contiguous territory, the Attorney General has consented to the alien's reapplying for admission.

(B) Aliens unlawfully present

(i) In general

Any alien (other than an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence) who--

(I) was unlawfully present in the United States for a period of more than 180 days but less than 1 year, voluntarily departed the United States (whether or not pursuant to section 1254a(e) [FN1] of this title) prior to the commencement of proceedings under section 1225(b)(1) of this title or section 1229a of this title, and again seeks admission within 3 years of the date of such alien's departure or removal, or

(II) has been unlawfully present in the United States for one year or more, and who again seeks admission within 10 years of the date of such alien's departure or removal from the United States,

is inadmissible.

(ii) Construction of unlawful presence

For purposes of this paragraph, an alien is deemed to be unlawfully present in the United States if the alien is present in the United States after the expiration of the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General or is present in the United States without being admitted or paroled.

(iii) Exceptions

(I) Minors

No period of time in which an alien is under 18 years of age shall be taken into account in determining the period of unlawful presence in the United States under clause (i).

(II) Asylees

No period of time in which an alien has a bona fide application for asylum pending under section 1158 of this title shall be taken into account in determining the period of unlawful presence in the United States under clause (i) unless the alien during such period was employed without authorization in the United States.

(III) Family unity

No period of time in which the alien is a beneficiary of family unity protection pursuant to section 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990 shall be taken into account in determining the period of unlawful presence in the United States under clause (i).

(IV) Battered women and children

Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien who would be described in paragraph (6)(A)(ii) if “violation of the terms of the alien's nonimmigrant visa” were substituted for “unlawful entry into the United States” in subclause (III) of that paragraph.

(V) Victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons

Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien who demonstrates that the severe form of trafficking (as that term is defined in section 7102 of Title 22) was at least one central reason for the alien's unlawful presence in the United States.

(iv) Tolling for good cause

In the case of an alien who--

(I) has been lawfully admitted or paroled into the United States,

(II) has filed a nonfrivolous application for a change or extension of status before the date of expiration of the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General, and

(III) has not been employed without authorization in the United States before or during the pendency of such application,

the calculation of the period of time specified in clause (i)(I) shall be tolled during the pendency of such application, but not to exceed 120 days.

(v) Waiver

The Attorney General has sole discretion to waive clause (i) in the case of an immigrant who is the spouse or son or daughter of a United States citizen or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, if it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the refusal of admission to such immigrant alien would result in extreme hardship to the citizen or lawfully resident spouse or parent of such alien. No court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision or action by the Attorney General regarding a waiver under this clause.

(C) Aliens unlawfully present after previous immigration violations

(i) In general

Any alien who--

(I) has been unlawfully present in the United States for an aggregate period of more than 1 year, or

(II) has been ordered removed under section 1225(b)(1) of this title, section 1229a of this title, or any other provision of law,

and who enters or attempts to reenter the United States without being admitted is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception

Clause (i) shall not apply to an alien seeking admission more than 10 years after the date of the alien's last departure from the United States if, prior to the alien's reembarkation at a place outside the United States or attempt to be readmitted from a foreign contiguous territory, the Secretary of Homeland Security has consented to the alien's reapplying for admission.

(iii) Waiver

The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the application of clause (i) in the case of an alien who is a VAWA self-petitioner if there is a connection between--

(I) the alien's battering or subjection to extreme cruelty; and

(II) the alien's removal, departure from the United States, reentry or reentries into the United States; or attempted reentry into the United States.

(10) Miscellaneous

(A) Practicing polygamists

Any immigrant who is coming to the United States to practice polygamy is inadmissible.

(B) Guardian required to accompany helpless alien

Any alien--

(i) who is accompanying another alien who is inadmissible and who is certified to be helpless from sickness, mental or physical disability, or infancy pursuant to section 1222(c) of this title, and

(ii) whose protection or guardianship is determined to be required by the alien described in clause (i),

is inadmissible.

(C) International child abduction

(i) In general

Except as provided in clause (ii), any alien who, after entry of an order by a court in the United States granting custody to a person of a United States citizen child who detains or retains the child, or withholds custody of the child, outside the United States from the person granted custody by that order, is inadmissible until the child is surrendered to the person granted custody by that order.

(ii) Aliens supporting abductors and relatives of abductors

Any alien who--

(I) is known by the Secretary of State to have intentionally assisted an alien in the conduct described in clause (i),

(II) is known by the Secretary of State to be intentionally providing material support or safe haven to an alien described in clause (i), or

(III) is a spouse (other than the spouse who is the parent of the abducted child), child (other than the abducted child), parent, sibling, or agent of an alien described in clause (i), if such person has been designated by the Secretary of State at the Secretary's sole and unreviewable discretion, is inadmissible until the child described in clause (i) is surrendered to the person granted custody by the order described in that clause, and such person and child are permitted to return to the United States or such person's place of residence.

(iii) Exceptions

Clauses (i) and (ii) shall not apply--

(I) to a government official of the United States who is acting within the scope of his or her official duties;

(II) to a government official of any foreign government if the official has been designated by the Secretary of State at the Secretary's sole and unreviewable discretion; or

(III) so long as the child is located in a foreign state that is a party to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, done at The Hague on October 25, 1980.

(D) Unlawful voters

(i) In general

Any alien who has voted in violation of any Federal, State, or local constitutional provision, statute, ordinance, or regulation is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception

In the case of an alien who voted in a Federal, State, or local election (including an initiative, recall, or referendum) in violation of a lawful restriction of voting to citizens, if each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization), the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16, and the alien reasonably believed at the time of such violation that he or she was a citizen, the alien shall not be considered to be inadmissible under any provision of this subsection based on such violation.

(E) Former citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation

Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is inadmissible.

(b) Notices of denials
(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) and (3), if an alien's application for a visa, for admission to the United States, or for adjustment of status is denied by an immigration or consular officer because the officer determines the alien to be inadmissible under subsection (a) of this section, the officer shall provide the alien with a timely written notice that--

(A) states the determination, and

(B) lists the specific provision or provisions of law under which the alien is inadmissible or adjustment [FN2] of status.

(2) The Secretary of State may waive the requirements of paragraph (1) with respect to a particular alien or any class or classes of inadmissible aliens.

(3) Paragraph (1) does not apply to any alien inadmissible under paragraph (2) or (3) of subsection (a) of this section.

(c) Repealed. Pub.L. 104-208, Div. C, Title III, § 304(b), Sept. 30, 1996, 110 Stat. 3009-597
(d) Temporary admission of nonimmigrants
(1) The Attorney General shall determine whether a ground for inadmissibility exists with respect to a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(S) of this title. The Attorney General, in the Attorney General's discretion, may waive the application of subsection (a) of this section (other than paragraph (3)(E)) in the case of a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(S) of this title, if the Attorney General considers it to be in the national interest to do so. Nothing in this section shall be regarded as prohibiting the Immigration and Naturalization Service from instituting removal proceedings against an alien admitted as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(S) of this title for conduct committed after the alien's admission into the United States, or for conduct or a condition that was not disclosed to the Attorney General prior to the alien's admission as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(S) of this title.

(2) Repealed. Pub.L. 101-649, Title VI, § 601(d)(2)(A), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5076

(3)(A) Except as provided in this subsection, an alien (i) who is applying for a nonimmigrant visa and is known or believed by the consular officer to be ineligible for such visa under subsection (a) of this section (other than paragraphs (3)(A)(i)(I), (3)(A)(ii), (3)(A)(iii), (3)(C), and clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (3)(E) of such subsection), may, after approval by the Attorney General of a recommendation by the Secretary of State or by the consular officer that the alien be admitted temporarily despite his inadmissibility, be granted such a visa and may be admitted into the United States temporarily as a nonimmigrant in the discretion of the Attorney General, or (ii) who is inadmissible under subsection (a) of this section (other than paragraphs (3)(A)(i)(I), (3)(A)(ii), (3)(A)(iii), (3)(C), and clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (3)(E) of such subsection), but who is in possession of appropriate documents or is granted a waiver thereof and is seeking admission, may be admitted into the United States temporarily as a nonimmigrant in the discretion of the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall prescribe conditions, including exaction of such bonds as may be necessary, to control and regulate the admission and return of inadmissible aliens applying for temporary admission under this paragraph.

(B)(i) The Secretary of State, after consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security, or the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, may determine in such Secretary's sole unreviewable discretion that subsection (a)(3)(B) of this section shall not apply with respect to an alien within the scope of that subsection or that subsection (a)(3)(B)(vi)(III) of this section shall not apply to a group within the scope of that subsection, except that no such waiver may be extended to an alien who is within the scope of subsection (a)(3)(B)(i)(II) of this section, no such waiver may be extended to an alien who is a member or representative of, has voluntarily and knowingly engaged in or endorsed or espoused or persuaded others to endorse or espouse or support terrorist activity on behalf of, or has voluntarily and knowingly received military-type training from a terrorist organization that is described in subclause (I) or (II) of subsection (a)(3)(B)(vi) of this section, and no such waiver may be extended to a group that has engaged terrorist activity against the United States or another democratic country or that has purposefully engaged in a pattern or practice of terrorist activity that is directed at civilians. Such a determination shall neither prejudice the ability of the United States Government to commence criminal or civil proceedings involving a beneficiary of such a determination or any other person, nor create any substantive or procedural right or benefit for a beneficiary of such a determination or any other person. Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), including section 2241 of Title 28, or any other habeas corpus provision, and sections 1361 and 1651 of Title 28, no court shall have jurisdiction to review such a determination or revocation except in a proceeding for review of a final order of removal pursuant to section 1252 of this title, and review shall be limited to the extent provided in section 1252(a)(2)(D) of this title. The Secretary of State may not exercise the discretion provided in this clause with respect to an alien at any time during which the alien is the subject of pending removal proceedings under section 1229a of this title.

(ii) Not later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall each provide to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and of the Senate, the Committee on International Relations of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, and the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives a report on the aliens to whom such Secretary has applied clause (i). Within one week of applying clause (i) to a group, the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide a report to such Committees.

(4) Either or both of the requirements of paragraph (7)(B)(i) of subsection (a) of this section may be waived by the Attorney General and the Secretary of State acting jointly (A) on the basis of unforeseen emergency in individual cases, or (B) on the basis of reciprocity with respect to nationals of foreign contiguous territory or of adjacent islands and residents thereof having a common nationality with such nationals, or (C) in the case of aliens proceeding in immediate and continuous transit through the United States under contracts authorized in section 1223(c) of this title.

(5)(A) The Attorney General may, except as provided in subparagraph (B) or in section 1184(f) of this title, in his discretion parole into the United States temporarily under such conditions as he may prescribe only on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit any alien applying for admission to the United States, but such parole of such alien shall not be regarded as an admission of the alien and when the purposes of such parole shall, in the opinion of the Attorney General, have been served the alien shall forthwith return or be returned to the custody from which he was paroled and thereafter his case shall continue to be dealt with in the same manner as that of any other applicant for admission to the United States.

(B) The Attorney General may not parole into the United States an alien who is a refugee unless the Attorney General determines that compelling reasons in the public interest with respect to that particular alien require that the alien be paroled into the United States rather than be admitted as a refugee under section 1157 of this title.

(6) Repealed. Pub.L. 101-649, Title VI, § 601(d)(2)(A), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5076

(7) The provisions of subsection (a) of this section (other than paragraph (7)) shall be applicable to any alien who shall leave Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands of the United States, and who seeks to enter the continental United States or any other place under the jurisdiction of the United States. The Attorney General shall by regulations provide a method and procedure for the temporary admission to the United States of the aliens described in this proviso. [FN3] Any alien described in this paragraph, who is denied admission to the United States, shall be immediately removed in the manner provided by section 1231(c) of this title.

(8) Upon a basis of reciprocity accredited officials of foreign governments, their immediate families, attendants, servants, and personal employees may be admitted in immediate and continuous transit through the United States without regard to the provisions of this section except paragraphs (3)(A), (3)(B), (3)(C), and (7)(B) of subsection (a) of this section.

(9), (10) Repealed. Pub.L. 101-649, Title VI, § 601(d)(2)(A), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5076

(11) The Attorney General may, in his discretion for humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or when it is otherwise in the public interest, waive application of clause (i) of subsection (a)(6)(E) of this section in the case of any alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who temporarily proceeded abroad voluntarily and not under an order of removal, and who is otherwise admissible to the United States as a returning resident under section 1181(b) of this title and in the case of an alien seeking admission or adjustment of status as an immediate relative or immigrant under section 1153(a) of this title (other than paragraph (4) thereof), if the alien has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided only an individual who at the time of such action was the alien's spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual) to enter the United States in violation of law.

(12) The Attorney General may, in the discretion of the Attorney General for humanitarian purposes or to assure family unity, waive application of clause (i) of subsection (a)(6)(F) of this section--

(A) in the case of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who temporarily proceeded abroad voluntarily and not under an order of deportation or removal and who is otherwise admissible to the United States as a returning resident under section 1181(b) of this title, and

(B) in the case of an alien seeking admission or adjustment of status under section 1151(b)(2)(A) of this title or under section 1153(a) of this title,

if no previous civil money penalty was imposed against the alien under section 1324c of this title and the offense was committed solely to assist, aid, or support the alien's spouse or child (and not another individual). No court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision of the Attorney General to grant or deny a waiver under this paragraph.

(13)(A) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall determine whether a ground for inadmissibility exists with respect to a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title, except that the ground for inadmissibility described in subsection (a)(4) of this section shall not apply with respect to such a nonimmigrant.

(B) In addition to any other waiver that may be available under this section, in the case of a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title, if the Secretary of Homeland Security considers it to be in the national interest to do so, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Attorney General's [FN4] discretion, may waive the application of--

(i) subsection (a)(1) of this section; and

(ii) any other provision of subsection (a) of this section (excluding paragraphs (3), (4), (10)(C), and (10(E)) [FN5] if the activities rendering the alien inadmissible under the provision were caused by, or were incident to, the victimization described in section 1101(a)(15)(T)(i)(I) of this title.

(14) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall determine whether a ground of inadmissibility exists with respect to a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title. The Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Attorney General's [FN4] discretion, may waive the application of subsection (a) of this section (other than paragraph (3)(E)) in the case of a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title, if the Secretary of Homeland Security considers it to be in the public or national interest to do so.

(e) Educational visitor status; foreign residence requirement; waiver

No person admitted under section 1101(a)(15)(J) of this title or acquiring such status after admission (i) whose participation in the program for which he came to the United States was financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by an agency of the Government of the United States or by the government of the country of his nationality or his last residence, (ii) who at the time of admission or acquisition of status under section 1101(a)(15)(J) of this title was a national or resident of a country which the Director of the United States Information Agency, pursuant to regulations prescribed by him, had designated as clearly requiring the services of persons engaged in the field of specialized knowledge or skill in which the alien was engaged, or (iii) who came to the United States or acquired such status in order to receive graduate medical education or training, shall be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, or for permanent residence, or for a nonimmigrant visa under section 1101(a)(15)(H) or section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title until it is established that such person has resided and been physically present in the country of his nationality or his last residence for an aggregate of at least two years following departure from the United States: Provided, That upon the favorable recommendation of the Director, pursuant to the request of an interested United States Government agency (or, in the case of an alien described in clause (iii), pursuant to the request of a State Department of Public Health, or its equivalent), or of the Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization after he has determined that departure from the United States would impose exceptional hardship upon the alien's spouse or child (if such spouse or child is a citizen of the United States or a lawfully resident alien), or that the alien cannot return to the country of his nationality or last residence because he would be subject to persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion, the Attorney General may waive the requirement of such two-year foreign residence abroad in the case of any alien whose admission to the United States is found by the Attorney General to be in the public interest except that in the case of a waiver requested by a State Department of Public Health, or its equivalent, or in the case of a waiver requested by an interested United States Government agency on behalf of an alien described in clause (iii), the waiver shall be subject to the requirements of section 1184(l) of this title: And provided further, That, except in the case of an alien described in clause (iii), the Attorney General may, upon the favorable recommendation of the Director, waive such two-year foreign residence requirement in any case in which the foreign country of the alien's nationality or last residence has furnished the Director a statement in writing that it has no objection to such waiver in the case of such alien.
(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.
(g) Bond and conditions for admission of alien inadmissible on health-related grounds
The Attorney General may waive the application of--
(1) subsection (a)(1)(A)(i) in the case of any alien who--
(A) is the spouse or the unmarried son or daughter, or the minor unmarried lawfully adopted child, of a United States citizen, or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or of an alien who has been issued an immigrant visa,
(B) has a son or daughter who is a United States citizen, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or an alien who has been issued an immigrant visa; or
(C) is a VAWA self-petitioner,
in accordance with such terms, conditions, and controls, if any, including the giving of bond, as the Attorney General, in the discretion of the Attorney General after consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, may by regulation prescribe;
(2) subsection (a)(1)(A)(ii) in the case of any alien--
(A) who receives vaccination against the vaccine-preventable disease or diseases for which the alien has failed to present documentation of previous vaccination,
(B) for whom a civil surgeon, medical officer, or panel physician (as those terms are defined by section 34.2 of title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations) certifies, according to such regulations as the Secretary of Health and Human Services may prescribe, that such vaccination would not be medically appropriate, or
(C) under such circumstances as the Attorney General provides by regulation, with respect to whom the requirement of such a vaccination would be contrary to the alien's religious beliefs or moral convictions; or
(3) subsection (a)(1)(A)(iii) in the case of any alien, in accordance with such terms, conditions, and controls, if any, including the giving of bond, as the Attorney General, in the discretion of the Attorney General after consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, may by regulation prescribe.
(h) Waiver of subsection (a)(2)(A)(i)(I), (II), (B), (D), and (E)
The Attorney General may, in his discretion, waive the application of subparagraphs (A)(i)(I), (B), (D), and (E) of subsection (a)(2) and subparagraph (A)(i)(II) of such subsection insofar as it relates to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana if--
(1)(A) in the case of any immigrant it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that--
(i) the alien is inadmissible only under subparagraph (D)(i) or (D)(ii) of such subsection or the activities for which the alien is inadmissible occurred more than 15 years before the date of the alien's application for a visa, admission, or adjustment of status,
(ii) the admission to the United States of such alien would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security of the United States, and
(iii) the alien has been rehabilitated; or
(B) in the case of an immigrant who is the spouse, parent, son, or daughter of a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the alien's denial of admission would result in extreme hardship to the United States citizen or lawfully resident spouse, parent, son, or daughter of such alien; or
(C) the alien is a VAWA self-petitioner; and
(2) the Attorney General, in his discretion, and pursuant to such terms, conditions and procedures as he may by regulations prescribe, has consented to the alien's applying or reapplying for a visa, for admission to the United States, or adjustment of status.
No waiver shall be provided under this subsection in the case of an alien who has been convicted of (or who has admitted committing acts that constitute) murder or criminal acts involving torture, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit murder or a criminal act involving torture. No waiver shall be granted under this subsection in the case of an alien who has previously been admitted to the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if either since the date of such admission the alien has been convicted of an aggravated felony or the alien has not lawfully resided continuously in the United States for a period of not less than 7 years immediately preceding the date of initiation of proceedings to remove the alien from the United States. No court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision of the Attorney General to grant or deny a waiver under this subsection.
(i) Admission of immigrant inadmissible for fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact
(1) The Attorney General may, in the discretion of the Attorney General, waive the application of clause (i) of subsection (a)(6)(C) in the case of an immigrant who is the spouse, son, or daughter of a United States citizen or of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence if it is established to the satisfaction of the Attorney General that the refusal of admission to the United States of such immigrant alien would result in extreme hardship to the citizen or lawfully resident spouse or parent of such an alien or, in the case of a VAWA self-petitioner, the alien demonstrates extreme hardship to the alien or the alien's United States citizen, lawful permanent resident, or qualified alien parent or child.
(2) No court shall have jurisdiction to review a decision or action of the Attorney General regarding a waiver under paragraph (1).
(j) Limitation on immigration of foreign medical graduates
(1) The additional requirements referred to in section 1101(a)(15)(J) of this title for an alien who is coming to the United States under a program under which he will receive graduate medical education or training are as follows:
(A) A school of medicine or of one of the other health professions, which is accredited by a body or bodies approved for the purpose by the Secretary of Education, has agreed in writing to provide the graduate medical education or training under the program for which the alien is coming to the United States or to assume responsibility for arranging for the provision thereof by an appropriate public or nonprofit private institution or agency, except that, in the case of such an agreement by a school of medicine, any one or more of its affiliated hospitals which are to participate in the provision of the graduate medical education or training must join in the agreement.
(B) Before making such agreement, the accredited school has been satisfied that the alien (i) is a graduate of a school of medicine which is accredited by a body or bodies approved for the purpose by the Secretary of Education (regardless of whether such school of medicine is in the United States); or (ii)(I) has passed parts I and II of the National Board of Medical Examiners Examination (or an equivalent examination as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services), (II) has competency in oral and written English, (III) will be able to adapt to the educational and cultural environment in which he will be receiving his education or training, and (IV) has adequate prior education and training to participate satisfactorily in the program for which he is coming to the United States. For the purposes of this subparagraph, an alien who is a graduate of a medical school shall be considered to have passed parts I and II of the National Board of Medical Examiners examination if the alien was fully and permanently licensed to practice medicine in a State on January 9, 1978, and was practicing medicine in a State on that date.
(C) The alien has made a commitment to return to the country of his nationality or last residence upon completion of the education or training for which he is coming to the United States, and the government of the country of his nationality or last residence has provided a written assurance, satisfactory to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, that there is a need in that country for persons with the skills the alien will acquire in such education or training.
(D) The duration of the alien's participation in the program of graduate medical education or training for which the alien is coming to the United States is limited to the time typically required to complete such program, as determined by the Director of the United States Information Agency at the time of the alien's admission into the United States, based on criteria which are established in coordination with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and which take into consideration the published requirements of the medical specialty board which administers such education or training program; except that--
(i) such duration is further limited to seven years unless the alien has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director that the country to which the alien will return at the end of such specialty education or training has an exceptional need for an individual trained in such specialty, and
(ii) the alien may, once and not later than two years after the date the alien is admitted to the United States as an exchange visitor or acquires exchange visitor status, change the alien's designated program of graduate medical education or training if the Director approves the change and if a commitment and written assurance with respect to the alien's new program have been provided in accordance with subparagraph (C).
(E) The alien furnishes the Attorney General each year with an affidavit (in such form as the Attorney General shall prescribe) that attests that the alien (i) is in good standing in the program of graduate medical education or training in which the alien is participating, and (ii) will return to the country of his nationality or last residence upon completion of the education or training for which he came to the United States.
(2) An alien who is a graduate of a medical school and who is coming to the United States to perform services as a member of the medical profession may not be admitted as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title unless--
(A) the alien is coming pursuant to an invitation from a public or nonprofit private educational or research institution or agency in the United States to teach or conduct research, or both, at or for such institution or agency, or
(B)(i) the alien has passed the Federation licensing examination (administered by the Federation of State Medical Boards of the United States) or an equivalent examination as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and
(ii) (I) has competency in oral and written English or (II) is a graduate of a school of medicine which is accredited by a body or bodies approved for the purpose by the Secretary of Education (regardless of whether such school of medicine is in the United States).
(3) Omitted
(k) Attorney General's discretion to admit otherwise inadmissible aliens who possess immigrant visas
Any alien, inadmissible from the United States under paragraph (5)(A) or (7)(A)(i) of subsection (a), who is in possession of an immigrant visa may, if otherwise admissible, be admitted in the discretion of the Attorney General if the Attorney General is satisfied that inadmissibility was not known to, and could not have been ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence by, the immigrant before the time of departure of the vessel or aircraft from the last port outside the United States and outside foreign contiguous territory or, in the case of an immigrant coming from foreign contiguous territory, before the time of the immigrant's application for admission.
(l) Guam and Northern Mariana Islands visa waiver program
(1) In general
The requirement of subsection (a)(7)(B)(i) may be waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security, in the case of an alien applying for admission as a nonimmigrant visitor for business or pleasure and solely for entry into and stay in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a period not to exceed 45 days, if the Secretary of Homeland Security, after consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of State, the Governor of Guam and the Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, determines that--
(A) an adequate arrival and departure control system has been developed in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and
(B) such a waiver does not represent a threat to the welfare, safety, or security of the United States or its territories and commonwealths.
(2) Alien waiver of rights
An alien may not be provided a waiver under this subsection unless the alien has waived any right--
(A) to review or appeal under this chapter an immigration officer's determination as to the admissibility of the alien at the port of entry into Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; or
(B) to contest, other than on the basis of an application for withholding of removal under section 1231(b)(3) of this title or under the Convention Against Torture, or an application for asylum if permitted under section 1158 of this title, any action for removal of the alien.
(3) Regulations
All necessary regulations to implement this subsection shall be promulgated by the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of State, on or before the 180th day after May 8, 2008. The promulgation of such regulations shall be considered a foreign affairs function for purposes of section 553(a) of Title 5. At a minimum, such regulations should include, but not necessarily be limited to--
(A) a listing of all countries whose nationals may obtain the waiver also provided by this subsection, except that such regulations shall provide for a listing of any country from which the Commonwealth has received a significant economic benefit from the number of visitors for pleasure within the one-year period preceding May 8, 2008, unless the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that such country's inclusion on such list would represent a threat to the welfare, safety, or security of the United States or its territories; and
(B) any bonding requirements for nationals of some or all of those countries who may present an increased risk of overstays or other potential problems, if different from such requirements otherwise provided by law for nonimmigrant visitors.
(4) Factors
In determining whether to grant or continue providing the waiver under this subsection to nationals of any country, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of State, shall consider all factors that the Secretary deems relevant, including electronic travel authorizations, procedures for reporting lost and stolen passports, repatriation of aliens, rates of refusal for nonimmigrant visitor visas, overstays, exit systems, and information exchange.
(5) Suspension
The Secretary of Homeland Security shall monitor the admission of nonimmigrant visitors to Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands under this subsection. If the Secretary determines that such admissions have resulted in an unacceptable number of visitors from a country remaining unlawfully in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, unlawfully obtaining entry to other parts of the United States, or seeking withholding of removal or asylum, or that visitors from a country pose a risk to law enforcement or security interests of Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or of the United States (including the interest in the enforcement of the immigration laws of the United States), the Secretary shall suspend the admission of nationals of such country under this subsection. The Secretary of Homeland Security may in the Secretary's discretion suspend the Guam and Northern Mariana Islands visa waiver program at any time, on a country-by-country basis, for other good cause.
(6) Addition of countries
The Governor of Guam and the Governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands may request the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Homeland Security to add a particular country to the list of countries whose nationals may obtain the waiver provided by this subsection, and the Secretary of Homeland Security may grant such request after consultation with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of State, and may promulgate regulations with respect to the inclusion of that country and any special requirements the Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary's sole discretion, may impose prior to allowing nationals of that country to obtain the waiver provided by this subsection.
(m) Requirements for admission of nonimmigrant nurses
(1) The qualifications referred to in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title, with respect to an alien who is coming to the United States to perform nursing services for a facility, are that the alien--
(A) has obtained a full and unrestricted license to practice professional nursing in the country where the alien obtained nursing education or has received nursing education in the United States;
(B) has passed an appropriate examination (recognized in regulations promulgated in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services) or has a full and unrestricted license under State law to practice professional nursing in the State of intended employment; and
(C) is fully qualified and eligible under the laws (including such temporary or interim licensing requirements which authorize the nurse to be employed) governing the place of intended employment to engage in the practice of professional nursing as a registered nurse immediately upon admission to the United States and is authorized under such laws to be employed by the facility.
(2)(A) The attestation referred to in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title, with respect to a facility for which an alien will perform services, is an attestation as to the following:
(i) The facility meets all the requirements of paragraph (6).
(ii) The employment of the alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of registered nurses similarly employed.
(iii) The alien employed by the facility will be paid the wage rate for registered nurses similarly employed by the facility.
(iv) The facility has taken and is taking timely and significant steps designed to recruit and retain sufficient registered nurses who are United States citizens or immigrants who are authorized to perform nursing services, in order to remove as quickly as reasonably possible the dependence of the facility on nonimmigrant registered nurses.
(v) There is not a strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute, the facility did not lay off and will not lay off a registered nurse employed by the facility within the period beginning 90 days before and ending 90 days after the date of filing of any visa petition, and the employment of such an alien is not intended or designed to influence an election for a bargaining representative for registered nurses of the facility.
(vi) At the time of the filing of the petition for registered nurses under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title, notice of the filing has been provided by the facility to the bargaining representative of the registered nurses at the facility or, where there is no such bargaining representative, notice of the filing has been provided to the registered nurses employed at the facility through posting in conspicuous locations.
(vii) The facility will not, at any time, employ a number of aliens issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title that exceeds 33 percent of the total number of registered nurses employed by the facility.
(viii) The facility will not, with respect to any alien issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title--
(I) authorize the alien to perform nursing services at any worksite other than a worksite controlled by the facility; or
(II) transfer the place of employment of the alien from one worksite to another.
Nothing in clause (iv) shall be construed as requiring a facility to have taken significant steps described in such clause before November 12, 1999. A copy of the attestation shall be provided, within 30 days of the date of filing, to registered nurses employed at the facility on the date of filing.
(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A)(iv), each of the following shall be considered a significant step reasonably designed to recruit and retain registered nurses:
(i) Operating a training program for registered nurses at the facility or financing (or providing participation in) a training program for registered nurses elsewhere.
(ii) Providing career development programs and other methods of facilitating health care workers to become registered nurses.
(iii) Paying registered nurses wages at a rate higher than currently being paid to registered nurses similarly employed in the geographic area.
(iv) Providing reasonable opportunities for meaningful salary advancement by registered nurses.
The steps described in this subparagraph shall not be considered to be an exclusive list of the significant steps that may be taken to meet the conditions of subparagraph (A)(iv). Nothing in this subparagraph shall require a facility to take more than one step if the facility can demonstrate that taking a second step is not reasonable.
(C) Subject to subparagraph (E), an attestation under subparagraph (A)--
(i) shall expire on the date that is the later of--
(I) the end of the one-year period beginning on the date of its filing with the Secretary of Labor; or
(II) the end of the period of admission under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title of the last alien with respect to whose admission it was applied (in accordance with clause (ii)); and
(ii) shall apply to petitions filed during the one-year period beginning on the date of its filing with the Secretary of Labor if the facility states in each such petition that it continues to comply with the conditions in the attestation.
(D) A facility may meet the requirements under this paragraph with respect to more than one registered nurse in a single petition.
(E)(i) The Secretary of Labor shall compile and make available for public examination in a timely manner in Washington, D.C., a list identifying facilities which have filed petitions for nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c)of this title and, for each such facility, a copy of the facility's attestation under subparagraph (A) (and accompanying documentation) and each such petition filed by the facility.
(ii) The Secretary of Labor shall establish a process, including reasonable time limits, for the receipt, investigation, and disposition of complaints respecting a facility's failure to meet conditions attested to or a facility's misrepresentation of a material fact in an attestation. Complaints may be filed by any aggrieved person or organization (including bargaining representatives, associations deemed appropriate by the Secretary, and other aggrieved parties as determined under regulations of the Secretary). The Secretary shall conduct an investigation under this clause if there is reasonable cause to believe that a facility fails to meet conditions attested to. Subject to the time limits established under this clause, this subparagraph shall apply regardless of whether an attestation is expired or unexpired at the time a complaint is filed.
(iii) Under such process, the Secretary shall provide, within 180 days after the date such a complaint is filed, for a determination as to whether or not a basis exists to make a finding described in clause (iv). If the Secretary determines that such a basis exists, the Secretary shall provide for notice of such determination to the interested parties and an opportunity for a hearing on the complaint within 60 days of the date of the determination.
(iv) If the Secretary of Labor finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that a facility (for which an attestation is made) has failed to meet a condition attested to or that there was a misrepresentation of material fact in the attestation, the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of such finding and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per nurse per violation, with the total penalty not to exceed $10,000 per violation) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate. Upon receipt of such notice, the Attorney General shall not approve petitions filed with respect to a facility during a period of at least one year for nurses to be employed by the facility.
(v) In addition to the sanctions provided for under clause (iv), if the Secretary of Labor finds, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, that a facility has violated the condition attested to under subparagraph (A)(iii) (relating to payment of registered nurses at the prevailing wage rate), the Secretary shall order the facility to provide for payment of such amounts of back pay as may be required to comply with such condition.
(F)(i) The Secretary of Labor shall impose on a facility filing an attestation under subparagraph (A) a filing fee, in an amount prescribed by the Secretary based on the costs of carrying out the Secretary's duties under this subsection, but not exceeding $250.
(ii) Fees collected under this subparagraph shall be deposited in a fund established for this purpose in the Treasury of the United States.
(iii) The collected fees in the fund shall be available to the Secretary of Labor, to the extent and in such amounts as may be provided in appropriations Acts, to cover the costs described in clause (i), in addition to any other funds that are available to the Secretary to cover such costs.
(3) The period of admission of an alien under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title shall be 3 years.
(4) The total number of nonimmigrant visas issued pursuant to petitions granted under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title in each fiscal year shall not exceed 500. The number of such visas issued for employment in each State in each fiscal year shall not exceed the following:
(A) For States with populations of less than 9,000,000, based upon the 1990 decennial census of population, 25 visas.
(B) For States with populations of 9,000,000 or more, based upon the 1990 decennial census of population, 50 visas.
(C) If the total number of visas available under this paragraph for a fiscal year quarter exceeds the number of qualified nonimmigrants who may be issued such visas during those quarters, the visas made available under this paragraph shall be issued without regard to the numerical limitation under subparagraph (A) or (B) of this paragraph during the last fiscal year quarter.
(5) A facility that has filed a petition under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title to employ a nonimmigrant to perform nursing services for the facility--
(A) shall provide the nonimmigrant a wage rate and working conditions commensurate with those of nurses similarly employed by the facility;
(B) shall require the nonimmigrant to work hours commensurate with those of nurses similarly employed by the facility; and
(C) shall not interfere with the right of the nonimmigrant to join or organize a union.
(6) For purposes of this subsection and section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(c) of this title, the term “facility” means a subsection (d) hospital (as defined in section 1886(d)(1)(B) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(1)(B))) that meets the following requirements:
(A) As of March 31, 1997, the hospital was located in a health professional shortage area (as defined in section 254e of Title 42).
(B) Based on its settled cost report filed under title XVIII of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C.A. § 1395 et seq.] for its cost reporting period beginning during fiscal year 1994--
(i) the hospital has not less than 190 licensed acute care beds;
(ii) the number of the hospital's inpatient days for such period which were made up of patients who (for such days) were entitled to benefits under part A of such title [42 U.S.C.A. § 1395c et seq.] is not less than 35 percent of the total number of such hospital's acute care inpatient days for such period; and
(iii) the number of the hospital's inpatient days for such period which were made up of patients who (for such days) were eligible for medical assistance under a State plan approved under title XIX of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C.A. § 1396 et seq.], is not less than 28 percent of the total number of such hospital's acute care inpatient days for such period.
(7) For purposes of paragraph (2)(A)(v), the term “lay off”, with respect to a worker--
(A) means to cause the worker's loss of employment, other than through a discharge for inadequate performance, violation of workplace rules, cause, voluntary departure, voluntary retirement, or the expiration of a grant or contract; but
(B) does not include any situation in which the worker is offered, as an alternative to such loss of employment, a similar employment opportunity with the same employer at equivalent or higher compensation and benefits than the position from which the employee was discharged, regardless of whether or not the employee accepts the offer.
Nothing in this paragraph is intended to limit an employee's or an employer's rights under a collective bargaining agreement or other employment contract.
(n) Labor condition application
(1) No alien may be admitted or provided status as an H-1B nonimmigrant in an occupational classification unless the employer has filed with the Secretary of Labor an application stating the following:
(A) The employer--
(i) is offering and will offer during the period of authorized employment to aliens admitted or provided status as an H-1B nonimmigrant wages that are at least--
(I) the actual wage level paid by the employer to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific employment in question, or
(II) the prevailing wage level for the occupational classification in the area of employment,
whichever is greater, based on the best information available as of the time of filing the application, and
(ii) will provide working conditions for such a nonimmigrant that will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed.
(B) There is not a strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute in the occupational classification at the place of employment.
(C) The employer, at the time of filing the application--
(i) has provided notice of the filing under this paragraph to the bargaining representative (if any) of the employer's employees in the occupational classification and area for which aliens are sought, or
(ii) if there is no such bargaining representative, has provided notice of filing in the occupational classification through such methods as physical posting in conspicuous locations at the place of employment or electronic notification to employees in the occupational classification for which H-1B nonimmigrants are sought.
(D) The application shall contain a specification of the number of workers sought, the occupational classification in which the workers will be employed, and wage rate and conditions under which they will be employed.
(E)(i) In the case of an application described in clause (ii), the employer did not displace and will not displace a United States worker (as defined in paragraph (4)) employed by the employer within the period beginning 90 days before and ending 90 days after the date of filing of any visa petition supported by the application.
(ii) An application described in this clause is an application filed on or after the date final regulations are first promulgated to carry out this subparagraph, and before7 by an H-1B-dependent employer (as defined in paragraph (3)) or by an employer that has been found, on or after October 21, 1998, under paragraph (2)(C) or (5) to have committed a willful failure or misrepresentation during the 5-year period preceding the filing of the application. An application is not described in this clause if the only H-1B nonimmigrants sought in the application are exempt H-1B nonimmigrants.
(F) In the case of an application described in subparagraph (E)(ii), the employer will not place the nonimmigrant with another employer (regardless of whether or not such other employer is an H-1B-dependent employer) where--
(i) the nonimmigrant performs duties in whole or in part at one or more worksites owned, operated, or controlled by such other employer; and
(ii) there are indicia of an employment relationship between the nonimmigrant and such other employer;
unless the employer has inquired of the other employer as to whether, and has no knowledge that, within the period beginning 90 days before and ending 90 days after the date of the placement of the nonimmigrant with the other employer, the other employer has displaced or intends to displace a United States worker employed by the other employer.
(G)(i) In the case of an application described in subparagraph (E)(ii), subject to clause (ii), the employer, prior to filing the application--
(I) has taken good faith steps to recruit, in the United States using procedures that meet industry-wide standards and offering compensation that is at least as great as that required to be offered to H-1B nonimmigrants under subparagraph (A), United States workers for the job for which the nonimmigrant or nonimmigrants is or are sought; and
(II) has offered the job to any United States worker who applies and is equally or better qualified for the job for which the nonimmigrant or nonimmigrants is or are sought.
(ii) The conditions described in clause (i) shall not apply to an application filed with respect to the employment of an H-1B nonimmigrant who is described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of section 1153(b)(1) of this title.
The employer shall make available for public examination, within one working day after the date on which an application under this paragraph is filed, at the employer's principal place of business or worksite, a copy of each such application (and such accompanying documents as are necessary). The Secretary shall compile, on a current basis, a list (by employer and by occupational classification) of the applications filed under this subsection. Such list shall include the wage rate, number of aliens sought, period of intended employment, and date of need. The Secretary shall make such list available for public examination in Washington, D.C. The Secretary of Labor shall review such an application only for completeness and obvious inaccuracies. Unless the Secretary finds that the application is incomplete or obviously inaccurate, the Secretary shall provide the certification described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title within 7 days of the date of the filing of the application. The application form shall include a clear statement explaining the liability under subparagraph (F) of a placing employer if the other employer described in such subparagraph displaces a United States worker as described in such subparagraph. Nothing in subparagraph (G) shall be construed to prohibit an employer from using legitimate selection criteria relevant to the job that are normal or customary to the type of job involved, so long as such criteria are not applied in a discriminatory manner.
(2)(A) Subject to paragraph (5)(A), the Secretary shall establish a process for the receipt, investigation, and disposition of complaints respecting a petitioner's failure to meet a condition specified in an application submitted under paragraph (1) or a petitioner's misrepresentation of material facts in such an application. Complaints may be filed by any aggrieved person or organization (including bargaining representatives). No investigation or hearing shall be conducted on a complaint concerning such a failure or misrepresentation unless the complaint was filed not later than 12 months after the date of the failure or misrepresentation, respectively. The Secretary shall conduct an investigation under this paragraph if there is reasonable cause to believe that such a failure or misrepresentation has occurred.
(B) Under such process, the Secretary shall provide, within 30 days after the date such a complaint is filed, for a determination as to whether or not a reasonable basis exists to make a finding described in subparagraph (C). If the Secretary determines that such a reasonable basis exists, the Secretary shall provide for notice of such determination to the interested parties and an opportunity for a hearing on the complaint, in accordance with section 556 of Title 5, within 60 days after the date of the determination. If such a hearing is requested, the Secretary shall make a finding concerning the matter by not later than 60 days after the date of the hearing. In the case of similar complaints respecting the same applicant, the Secretary may consolidate the hearings under this subparagraph on such complaints.
(C)(i) If the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(B), (1)(E), or (1)(F), a substantial failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(C), (1)(D), or (1)(G)(i)(I), or a misrepresentation of material fact in an application--
(I) the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of such finding and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate; and
(II) the Attorney General shall not approve petitions filed with respect to that employer under section 1154 or 1184(c) of this title during a period of at least 1 year for aliens to be employed by the employer.
(ii) If the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1), a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an application, or a violation of clause (iv)--
(I) the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of such finding and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $5,000 per violation) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate; and
(II) the Attorney General shall not approve petitions filed with respect to that employer under section 1154 or 1184(c) of this title during a period of at least 2 years for aliens to be employed by the employer.
(iii) If the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1) or a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an application, in the course of which failure or misrepresentation the employer displaced a United States worker employed by the employer within the period beginning 90 days before and ending 90 days after the date of filing of any visa petition supported by the application--
(I) the Secretary shall notify the Attorney General of such finding and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $35,000 per violation) as the Secretary determines to be appropriate; and
(II) the Attorney General shall not approve petitions filed with respect to that employer under section 1154 or 1184(c) of this title during a period of at least 3 years for aliens to be employed by the employer.
(iv) It is a violation of this clause for an employer who has filed an application under this subsection to intimidate, threaten, restrain, coerce, blacklist, discharge, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee (which term, for purposes of this clause, includes a former employee and an applicant for employment) because the employee has disclosed information to the employer, or to any other person, that the employee reasonably believes evidences a violation of this subsection, or any rule or regulation pertaining to this subsection, or because the employee cooperates or seeks to cooperate in an investigation or other proceeding concerning the employer's compliance with the requirements of this subsection or any rule or regulation pertaining to this subsection.
(v) The Secretary of Labor and the Attorney General shall devise a process under which an H-1B nonimmigrant who files a complaint regarding a violation of clause (iv) and is otherwise eligible to remain and work in the United States may be allowed to seek other appropriate employment in the United States for a period not to exceed the maximum period of stay authorized for such nonimmigrant classification.
(vi)(I) It is a violation of this clause for an employer who has filed an application under this subsection to require an H-1B nonimmigrant to pay a penalty for ceasing employment with the employer prior to a date agreed to by the nonimmigrant and the employer. The Secretary shall determine whether a required payment is a penalty (and not liquidated damages) pursuant to relevant State law.
(II) It is a violation of this clause for an employer who has filed an application under this subsection to require an alien who is the subject of a petition filed under section 1184(c)(1) of this title, for which a fee is imposed under section 1184(c)(9) of this title, to reimburse, or otherwise compensate, the employer for part or all of the cost of such fee. It is a violation of this clause for such an employer otherwise to accept such reimbursement or compensation from such an alien.
(III) If the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that an employer has committed a violation of this clause, the Secretary may impose a civil monetary penalty of $1,000 for each such violation and issue an administrative order requiring the return to the nonimmigrant of any amount paid in violation of this clause, or, if the nonimmigrant cannot be located, requiring payment of any such amount to the general fund of the Treasury.
(vii)(I) It is a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A) for an employer, who has filed an application under this subsection and who places an H-1B nonimmigrant designated as a full-time employee on the petition filed under section 1184(c)(1) of this title by the employer with respect to the nonimmigrant, after the nonimmigrant has entered into employment with the employer, in nonproductive status due to a decision by the employer (based on factors such as lack of work), or due to the nonimmigrant's lack of a permit or license, to fail to pay the nonimmigrant full-time wages in accordance with paragraph (1)(A) for all such nonproductive time.
(II) It is a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A) for an employer, who has filed an application under this subsection and who places an H-1B nonimmigrant designated as a part-time employee on the petition filed under section 1184(c)(1) of this title by the employer with respect to the nonimmigrant, after the nonimmigrant has entered into employment with the employer, in nonproductive status under circumstances described in subclause (I), to fail to pay such a nonimmigrant for such hours as are designated on such petition consistent with the rate of pay identified on such petition.
(III) In the case of an H-1B nonimmigrant who has not yet entered into employment with an employer who has had approved an application under this subsection, and a petition under section 1184(c)(1) of this title, with respect to the nonimmigrant, the provisions of subclauses (I) and (II) shall apply to the employer beginning 30 days after the date the nonimmigrant first is admitted into the United States pursuant to the petition, or 60 days after the date the nonimmigrant becomes eligible to work for the employer (in the case of a nonimmigrant who is present in the United States on the date of the approval of the petition).
(IV) This clause does not apply to a failure to pay wages to an H-1B nonimmigrant for nonproductive time due to non-work-related factors, such as the voluntary request of the nonimmigrant for an absence or circumstances rendering the nonimmigrant unable to work.
(V) This clause shall not be construed as prohibiting an employer that is a school or other educational institution from applying to an H-1B nonimmigrant an established salary practice of the employer, under which the employer pays to H-1B nonimmigrants and United States workers in the same occupational classification an annual salary in disbursements over fewer than 12 months, if--
(aa) the nonimmigrant agrees to the compressed annual salary payments prior to the commencement of the employment; and
(bb) the application of the salary practice to the nonimmigrant does not otherwise cause the nonimmigrant to violate any condition of the nonimmigrant's authorization under this chapter to remain in the United States.
(VI) This clause shall not be construed as superseding clause (viii).
(viii) It is a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A) for an employer who has filed an application under this subsection to fail to offer to an H-1B nonimmigrant, during the nonimmigrant's period of authorized employment, benefits and eligibility for benefits (including the opportunity to participate in health, life, disability, and other insurance plans; the opportunity to participate in retirement and savings plans; and cash bonuses and noncash compensation, such as stock options (whether or not based on performance)) on the same basis, and in accordance with the same criteria, as the employer offers to United States workers.
(D) If the Secretary finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that an employer has not paid wages at the wage level specified under the application and required under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall order the employer to provide for payment of such amounts of back pay as may be required to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1), whether or not a penalty under subparagraph (C) has been imposed.
(E) If an H-1B-dependent employer places a nonexempt H-1B nonimmigrant with another employer as provided under paragraph (1)(F) and the other employer has displaced or displaces a United States worker employed by such other employer during the period described in such paragraph, such displacement shall be considered for purposes of this paragraph a failure, by the placing employer, to meet a condition specified in an application submitted under paragraph (1); except that the Attorney General may impose a sanction described in subclause (II) of subparagraph (C)(i), (C)(ii), or (C)(iii) only if the Secretary of Labor found that such placing employer--
(i) knew or had reason to know of such displacement at the time of the placement of the nonimmigrant with the other employer; or
(ii) has been subject to a sanction under this subparagraph based upon a previous placement of an H-1B nonimmigrant with the same other employer.
(F) The Secretary may, on a case-by-case basis, subject an employer to random investigations for a period of up to 5 years, beginning on the date (on or after October 21, 1998) on which the employer is found by the Secretary to have committed a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1) (or has been found under paragraph (5) to have committed a willful failure to meet the condition of paragraph (1)(G)(i)(II)) or to have made a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an application. The preceding sentence shall apply to an employer regardless of whether or not the employer is an H-1B-dependent employer. The authority of the Secretary under this subparagraph shall not be construed to be subject to, or limited by, the requirements of subparagraph (A).
(G)(i) The Secretary of Labor may initiate an investigation of any employer that employs nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title if the Secretary of Labor has reasonable cause to believe that the employer is not in compliance with this subsection. In the case of an investigation under this clause, the Secretary of Labor (or the acting Secretary in the case of the absence of8 disability of the Secretary of Labor) shall personally certify that reasonable cause exists and shall approve commencement of the investigation. The investigation may be initiated for reasons other than completeness and obvious inaccuracies by the employer in complying with this subsection.
(ii) If the Secretary of Labor receives specific credible information from a source who is likely to have knowledge of an employer's practices or employment conditions, or an employer's compliance with the employer's labor condition application under paragraph (1), and whose identity is known to the Secretary of Labor, and such information provides reasonable cause to believe that the employer has committed a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A), (1)(B), (1)(C), (1)(E), (1)(F), or (1)(G)(i)(I), has engaged in a pattern or practice of failures to meet such a condition, or has committed a substantial failure to meet such a condition that affects multiple employees, the Secretary of Labor may conduct an investigation into the alleged failure or failures. The Secretary of Labor may withhold the identity of the source from the employer, and the source's identity shall not be subject to disclosure under section 552 of Title 5.
(iii) The Secretary of Labor shall establish a procedure for any person desiring to provide to the Secretary of Labor information described in clause (ii) that may be used, in whole or in part, as the basis for the commencement of an investigation described in such clause, to provide the information in writing on a form developed and provided by the Secretary of Labor and completed by or on behalf of the person. The person may not be an officer or employee of the Department of Labor, unless the information satisfies the requirement of clause (iv)(II) (although an officer or employee of the Department of Labor may complete the form on behalf of the person).
(iv) Any investigation initiated or approved by the Secretary of Labor under clause (ii) shall be based on information that satisfies the requirements of such clause and that
(I) originates from a source other than an officer or employee of the Department of Labor; or
(II) was lawfully obtained by the Secretary of Labor in the course of lawfully conducting another Department of Labor investigation under this chapter of8 any other Act.
(v) The receipt by the Secretary of Labor of information submitted by an employer to the Attorney General or the Secretary of Labor for purposes of securing the employment of a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title shall not be considered a receipt of information for purposes of clause (ii).
(vi) No investigation described in clause (ii) (or hearing described in clause (viii) based on such investigation) may be conducted with respect to information about a failure to meet a condition described in clause (ii), unless the Secretary of Labor receives the information not later than 12 months after the date of the alleged failure.
(vii) The Secretary of Labor shall provide notice to an employer with respect to whom there is reasonable cause to initiate an investigation described in clauses9 (i) or (ii), prior to the commencement of an investigation under such clauses, of the intent to conduct an investigation. The notice shall be provided in such a manner, and shall contain sufficient detail, to permit the employer to respond to the allegations before an investigation is commenced. The Secretary of Labor is not required to comply with this clause if the Secretary of Labor determines that to do so would interfere with an effort by the Secretary of Labor to secure compliance by the employer with the requirements of this subsection. There shall be no judicial review of a determination by the Secretary of Labor under this clause.
(viii) An investigation under clauses9 (i) or (ii) may be conducted for a period of up to 60 days. If the Secretary of Labor determines after such an investigation that a reasonable basis exists to make a finding that the employer has committed a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A), (1)(B), (1)(C), (1)(E), (1)(F), or (1)(G)(i)(I), has engaged in a pattern or practice of failures to meet such a condition, or has committed a substantial failure to meet such a condition that affects multiple employees, the Secretary of Labor shall provide for notice of such determination to the interested parties and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with section 556 of Title 5 within 120 days after the date of the determination. If such a hearing is requested, the Secretary of Labor shall make a finding concerning the matter by not later than 120 days after the date of the hearing.
(H)(i) Except as provided in clauses (ii) and (iii), a person or entity is considered to have complied with the requirements of this subsection, notwithstanding a technical or procedural failure to meet such requirements, if there was a good faith attempt to comply with the requirements.
(ii) Clause (i) shall not apply if--
(I) the Department of Labor (or another enforcement agency) has explained to the person or entity the basis for the failure;
(II) the person or entity has been provided a period of not less than 10 business days (beginning after the date of the explanation) within which to correct the failure; and
(III) the person or entity has not corrected the failure voluntarily within such period.
(iii) A person or entity that, in the course of an investigation, is found to have violated the prevailing wage requirements set forth in paragraph (1)(A), shall not be assessed fines or other penalties for such violation if the person or entity can establish that the manner in which the prevailing wage was calculated was consistent with recognized industry standards and practices.
(iv) Clauses (i) and (iii) shall not apply to a person or entity that has engaged in or is engaging in a pattern or practice of willful violations of this subsection.
(I) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as superseding or preempting any other enforcement-related authority under this chapter (such as the authorities under section 1324b of this title), or any other Act.
(3)(A) For purposes of this subsection, the term “H-1B-dependent employer” means an employer that
(i)(I) has 25 or fewer full-time equivalent employees who are employed in the United States; and (II) employs more than 7 H-1B nonimmigrants;
(ii)(I) has at least 26 but not more than 50 full-time equivalent employees who are employed in the United States; and (II) employs more than 12 H-1B nonimmigrants; or
(iii)(I) has at least 51 full-time equivalent employees who are employed in the United States; and (II) employs H-1B nonimmigrants in a number that is equal to at least 15 percent of the number of such full-time equivalent employees.
(B) For purposes of this subsection
(i) the term “exempt H-1B nonimmigrant” means an H-1B nonimmigrant who--
(I) receives wages (including cash bonuses and similar compensation) at an annual rate equal to at least $60,000; or
(II) has attained a master's or higher degree (or its equivalent) in a specialty related to the intended employment; and
(ii) the term “nonexempt H-1B nonimmigrant” means an H-1B nonimmigrant who is not an exempt H-1B nonimmigrant.
(C) For purposes of subparagraph (A)
(i) in computing the number of full-time equivalent employees and the number of H-1B nonimmigrants, exempt H-1B nonimmigrants shall not be taken into account during the longer of--
(I) the 6-month period beginning on October 21, 1998; or
(II) the period beginning on October 21, 1998, and ending on the date final regulations are issued to carry out this paragraph; and
(ii) any group treated as a single employer under subsection (b), (c), (m), or (o) of section 414 of Title 26 shall be treated as a single employer.
(4) For purposes of this subsection:
(A) The term “area of employment” means the area within normal commuting distance of the worksite or physical location where the work of the H-1B nonimmigrant is or will be performed. If such worksite or location is within a Metropolitan Statistical Area, any place within such area is deemed to be within the area of employment.
(B) In the case of an application with respect to one or more H-1B nonimmigrants by an employer, the employer is considered to “displace” a United States worker from a job if the employer lays off the worker from a job that is essentially the equivalent of the job for which the nonimmigrant or nonimmigrants is or are sought. A job shall not be considered to be essentially equivalent of another job unless it involves essentially the same responsibilities, was held by a United States worker with substantially equivalent qualifications and experience, and is located in the same area of employment as the other job.
(C) The term “H-1B nonimmigrant” means an alien admitted or provided status as a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title.
(D)(i) The term “lays off”, with respect to a worker--
(I) means to cause the worker's loss of employment, other than through a discharge for inadequate performance, violation of workplace rules, cause, voluntary departure, voluntary retirement, or the expiration of a grant or contract (other than a temporary employment contract entered into in order to evade a condition described in subparagraph (E) or (F) of paragraph (1)); but
(II) does not include any situation in which the worker is offered, as an alternative to such loss of employment, a similar employment opportunity with the same employer (or, in the case of a placement of a worker with another employer under paragraph (1)(F), with either employer described in such paragraph) at equivalent or higher compensation and benefits than the position from which the employee was discharged, regardless of whether or not the employee accepts the offer.
(ii) Nothing in this subparagraph is intended to limit an employee's rights under a collective bargaining agreement or other employment contract.
(E) The term “United States worker” means an employee who--
(i) is a citizen or national of the United States; or
(ii) is an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence, is admitted as a refugee under section 1157 of this title, is granted asylum under section 1158 of this title, or is an immigrant otherwise authorized, by this chapter or by the Attorney General, to be employed.
(5)(A) This paragraph shall apply instead of subparagraphs (A) through (E) of paragraph (2) in the case of a violation described in subparagraph (B), but shall not be construed to limit or affect the authority of the Secretary or the Attorney General with respect to any other violation.
(B) The Attorney General shall establish a process for the receipt, initial review, and disposition in accordance with this paragraph of complaints respecting an employer's failure to meet the condition of paragraph (1)(G)(i)(II) or a petitioner's misrepresentation of material facts with respect to such condition. Complaints may be filed by an aggrieved individual who has submitted a resume or otherwise applied in a reasonable manner for the job that is the subject of the condition. No proceeding shall be conducted under this paragraph on a complaint concerning such a failure or misrepresentation unless the Attorney General determines that the complaint was filed not later than 12 months after the date of the failure or misrepresentation, respectively.
(C) If the Attorney General finds that a complaint has been filed in accordance with subparagraph (B) and there is reasonable cause to believe that such a failure or misrepresentation described in such complaint has occurred, the Attorney General shall initiate binding arbitration proceedings by requesting the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to appoint an arbitrator from the roster of arbitrators maintained by such Service. The procedure and rules of such Service shall be applicable to the selection of such arbitrator and to such arbitration proceedings. The Attorney General shall pay the fee and expenses of the arbitrator.
(D)(i) The arbitrator shall make findings respecting whether a failure or misrepresentation described in subparagraph (B) occurred. If the arbitrator concludes that failure or misrepresentation was willful, the arbitrator shall make a finding to that effect. The arbitrator may not find such a failure or misrepresentation (or that such a failure or misrepresentation was willful) unless the complainant demonstrates such a failure or misrepresentation (or its willful character) by clear and convincing evidence. The arbitrator shall transmit the findings in the form of a written opinion to the parties to the arbitration and the Attorney General. Such findings shall be final and conclusive, and, except as provided in this subparagraph, no official or court of the United States shall have power or jurisdiction to review any such findings.
(ii) The Attorney General may review and reverse or modify the findings of an arbitrator only on the same bases as an award of an arbitrator may be vacated or modified under section 10 or 11 of Title 9.
(iii) With respect to the findings of an arbitrator, a court may review only the actions of the Attorney General under clause (ii) and may set aside such actions only on the grounds described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of section 706(a)(2) of Title 5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such judicial review may only be brought in an appropriate United States court of appeals.
(E) If the Attorney General receives a finding of an arbitrator under this paragraph that an employer has failed to meet the condition of paragraph (1)(G)(i)(II) or has misrepresented a material fact with respect to such condition, unless the Attorney General reverses or modifies the finding under subparagraph (D)(ii)--
(i) the Attorney General may impose administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation or $5,000 per violation in the case of a willful failure or misrepresentation) as the Attorney General determines to be appropriate; and
(ii) the Attorney General is authorized to not approve petitions filed, with respect to that employer and for aliens to be employed by the employer, under section 1154 or 1184(c) of this title--
(I) during a period of not more than 1 year; or
(II) in the case of a willful failure or willful misrepresentation, during a period of not more than 2 years.
(F) The Attorney General shall not delegate, to any other employee or official of the Department of Justice, any function of the Attorney General under this paragraph, until 60 days after the Attorney General has submitted a plan for such delegation to the Committees on the Judiciary of the United States House of Representatives and the Senate.
(o) Omitted
(p) Computation of prevailing wage level
(1) In computing the prevailing wage level for an occupational classification in an area of employment for purposes of subsections (a)(5)(A), (n)(1)(A)(i)(II), and (t)(1)(A)(i)(II) in the case of an employee of--
(A) an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1001(a) of Title 20), or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity; or
(B) a nonprofit research organization or a Governmental research organization,
the prevailing wage level shall only take into account employees at such institutions and organizations in the area of employment
(2) With respect to a professional athlete (as defined in subsection (a)(5)(A)(iii)(II)) when the job opportunity is covered by professional sports league rules or regulations, the wage set forth in those rules or regulations shall be considered as not adversely affecting the wages of United States workers similarly employed and be considered the prevailing wage.
(3) The prevailing wage required to be paid pursuant to subsections (a)(5)(A), (n)(1)(A)(i)(II), and (t)(1)(A)(i)(II) shall be 100 percent of the wage determined pursuant to those sections.
(4) Where the Secretary of Labor uses, or makes available to employers, a governmental survey to determine the prevailing wage, such survey shall provide at least 4 levels of wages commensurate with experience, education, and the level of supervision. Where an existing government survey has only 2 levels, 2 intermediate levels may be created by dividing by 3, the difference between the 2 levels offered, adding the quotient thus obtained to the first level and subtracting that quotient from the second level.
(q) Academic honoraria
Any alien admitted under section 1101(a)(15)(B) of this title may accept an honorarium payment and associated incidental expenses for a usual academic activity or activities (lasting not longer than 9 days at any single institution), as defined by the Attorney General in consultation with the Secretary of Education, if such payment is offered by an institution or organization described in subsection (p)(1) and is made for services conducted for the benefit of that institution or entity and if the alien has not accepted such payment or expenses from more than 5 institutions or organizations in the previous 6-month period.
(r) Exception for certain alien nurses
Subsection (a)(5)(C) shall not apply to an alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing labor as a nurse who presents to the consular officer (or in the case of an adjustment of status, the Attorney General) a certified statement from the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (or an equivalent independent credentialing organization approved for the certification of nurses under subsection (a)(5)(C) by the Attorney General in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services) that--
(1) the alien has a valid and unrestricted license as a nurse in a State where the alien intends to be employed and such State verifies that the foreign licenses of alien nurses are authentic and unencumbered;
(2) the alien has passed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX);
(3) the alien is a graduate of a nursing program--
(A) in which the language of instruction was English;
(B) located in a country--
(i) designated by such commission not later than 30 days after November 12, 1999, based on such commission's assessment that the quality of nursing education in that country, and the English language proficiency of those who complete such programs in that country, justify the country's designation; or
(ii) designated on the basis of such an assessment by unanimous agreement of such commission and any equivalent credentialing organizations which have been approved under subsection (a)(5)(C) for the certification of nurses under this subsection; and
(C)(i) which was in operation on or before November 12, 1999; or
(ii) has been approved by unanimous agreement of such commission and any equivalent credentialing organizations which have been approved under subsection (a)(5)(C) for the certification of nurses under this subsection.
(s) Consideration of benefits received as battered alien in determination of inadmissibility as likely to become public charge
In determining whether an alien described in subsection (a)(4)(C)(i) is inadmissible under subsection (a)(4) or ineligible to receive an immigrant visa or otherwise to adjust to the status of permanent resident by reason of subsection (a)(4), the consular officer or the Attorney General shall not consider any benefits the alien may have received that were authorized under section 1641(c) of this title.
(t)10 Nonimmigrant professionals; labor attestations
(1) No alien may be admitted or provided status as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title in an occupational classification unless the employer has filed with the Secretary of Labor an attestation stating the following:
(A) The employer--
(i) is offering and will offer during the period of authorized employment to aliens admitted or provided status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title wages that are at least--
(I) the actual wage level paid by the employer to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific employment in question; or
(II) the prevailing wage level for the occupational classification in the area of employment,
whichever is greater, based on the best information available as of the time of filing the attestation; and
(ii) will provide working conditions for such a nonimmigrant that will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed.
(B) There is not a strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute in the occupational classification at the place of employment.
(C) The employer, at the time of filing the attestation--
(i) has provided notice of the filing under this paragraph to the bargaining representative (if any) of the employer's employees in the occupational classification and area for which aliens are sought; or
(ii) if there is no such bargaining representative, has provided notice of filing in the occupational classification through such methods as physical posting in conspicuous locations at the place of employment or electronic notification to employees in the occupational classification for which nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title are sought.
(D) A specification of the number of workers sought, the occupational classification in which the workers will be employed, and wage rate and conditions under which they will be employed.
(2)(A) The employer shall make available for public examination, within one working day after the date on which an attestation under this subsection is filed, at the employer's principal place of business or worksite, a copy of each such attestation (and such accompanying documents as are necessary).
(B)(i) The Secretary of Labor shall compile, on a current basis, a list (by employer and by occupational classification) of the attestations filed under this subsection. Such list shall include, with respect to each attestation, the wage rate, number of aliens sought, period of intended employment, and date of need.
(ii) The Secretary of Labor shall make such list available for public examination in Washington, D.C.
(C) The Secretary of Labor shall review an attestation filed under this subsection only for completeness and obvious inaccuracies. Unless the Secretary of Labor finds that an attestation is incomplete or obviously inaccurate, the Secretary of Labor shall provide the certification described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title within 7 days of the date of the filing of the attestation.
(3)(A) The Secretary of Labor shall establish a process for the receipt, investigation, and disposition of complaints respecting the failure of an employer to meet a condition specified in an attestation submitted under this subsection or misrepresentation by the employer of material facts in such an attestation. Complaints may be filed by any aggrieved person or organization (including bargaining representatives). No investigation or hearing shall be conducted on a complaint concerning such a failure or misrepresentation unless the complaint was filed not later than 12 months after the date of the failure or misrepresentation, respectively. The Secretary of Labor shall conduct an investigation under this paragraph if there is reasonable cause to believe that such a failure or misrepresentation has occurred.
(B) Under the process described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary of Labor shall provide, within 30 days after the date a complaint is filed, for a determination as to whether or not a reasonable basis exists to make a finding described in subparagraph (C). If the Secretary of Labor determines that such a reasonable basis exists, the Secretary of Labor shall provide for notice of such determination to the interested parties and an opportunity for a hearing on the complaint, in accordance with section 556 of Title 5, within 60 days after the date of the determination. If such a hearing is requested, the Secretary of Labor shall make a finding concerning the matter by not later than 60 days after the date of the hearing. In the case of similar complaints respecting the same applicant, the Secretary of Labor may consolidate the hearings under this subparagraph on such complaints.
(C)(i) If the Secretary of Labor finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(B), a substantial failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(C) or (1)(D), or a misrepresentation of material fact in an attestation--
(I) the Secretary of Labor shall notify the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security of such finding and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $1,000 per violation) as the Secretary of Labor determines to be appropriate; and
(II) the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, shall not approve petitions or applications filed with respect to that employer under section 1154, 1184(c), 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1), or 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title during a period of at least 1 year for aliens to be employed by the employer.
(ii) If the Secretary of Labor finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1), a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an attestation, or a violation of clause (iv)--
(I) the Secretary of Labor shall notify the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security of such finding and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $5,000 per violation) as the Secretary of Labor determines to be appropriate; and
(II) the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, shall not approve petitions or applications filed with respect to that employer under section 1154, 1184(c), 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1), or 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title during a period of at least 2 years for aliens to be employed by the employer.
(iii) If the Secretary of Labor finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1) or a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an attestation, in the course of which failure or misrepresentation the employer displaced a United States worker employed by the employer within the period beginning 90 days before and ending 90 days after the date of filing of any visa petition or application supported by the attestation--
(I) the Secretary of Labor shall notify the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security of such finding and may, in addition, impose such other administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $35,000 per violation) as the Secretary of Labor determines to be appropriate; and
(II) the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security, as appropriate, shall not approve petitions or applications filed with respect to that employer under section 1154, 1184(c), 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1), or 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title during a period of at least 3 years for aliens to be employed by the employer.
(iv) It is a violation of this clause for an employer who has filed an attestation under this subsection to intimidate, threaten, restrain, coerce, blacklist, discharge, or in any other manner discriminate against an employee (which term, for purposes of this clause, includes a former employee and an applicant for employment) because the employee has disclosed information to the employer, or to any other person, that the employee reasonably believes evidences a violation of this subsection, or any rule or regulation pertaining to this subsection, or because the employee cooperates or seeks to cooperate in an investigation or other proceeding concerning the employer's compliance with the requirements of this subsection or any rule or regulation pertaining to this subsection.
(v) The Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall devise a process under which a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title who files a complaint regarding a violation of clause (iv) and is otherwise eligible to remain and work in the United States may be allowed to seek other appropriate employment in the United States for a period not to exceed the maximum period of stay authorized for such nonimmigrant classification.
(vi)(I) It is a violation of this clause for an employer who has filed an attestation under this subsection to require a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title to pay a penalty for ceasing employment with the employer prior to a date agreed to by the nonimmigrant and the employer. The Secretary of Labor shall determine whether a required payment is a penalty (and not liquidated damages) pursuant to relevant State law.
(II) If the Secretary of Labor finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that an employer has committed a violation of this clause, the Secretary of Labor may impose a civil monetary penalty of $1,000 for each such violation and issue an administrative order requiring the return to the nonimmigrant of any amount paid in violation of this clause, or, if the nonimmigrant cannot be located, requiring payment of any such amount to the general fund of the Treasury.
(vii)(I) It is a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A) for an employer who has filed an attestation under this subsection and who places a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title designated as a full-time employee in the attestation, after the nonimmigrant has entered into employment with the employer, in nonproductive status due to a decision by the employer (based on factors such as lack of work), or due to the nonimmigrant's lack of a permit or license, to fail to pay the nonimmigrant full-time wages in accordance with paragraph (1)(A) for all such nonproductive time.
(II) It is a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A) for an employer who has filed an attestation under this subsection and who places a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title designated as a part-time employee in the attestation, after the nonimmigrant has entered into employment with the employer, in nonproductive status under circumstances described in subclause (I), to fail to pay such a nonimmigrant for such hours as are designated on the attestation consistent with the rate of pay identified on the attestation.
(III) In the case of a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title who has not yet entered into employment with an employer who has had approved an attestation under this subsection with respect to the nonimmigrant, the provisions of subclauses (I) and (II) shall apply to the employer beginning 30 days after the date the nonimmigrant first is admitted into the United States, or 60 days after the date the nonimmigrant becomes eligible to work for the employer in the case of a nonimmigrant who is present in the United States on the date of the approval of the attestation filed with the Secretary of Labor.
(IV) This clause does not apply to a failure to pay wages to a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title for nonproductive time due to non-work-related factors, such as the voluntary request of the nonimmigrant for an absence or circumstances rendering the nonimmigrant unable to work.
(V) This clause shall not be construed as prohibiting an employer that is a school or other educational institution from applying to a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title an established salary practice of the employer, under which the employer pays to nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title and United States workers in the same occupational classification an annual salary in disbursements over fewer than 12 months, if--
(aa) the nonimmigrant agrees to the compressed annual salary payments prior to the commencement of the employment; and
(bb) the application of the salary practice to the nonimmigrant does not otherwise cause the nonimmigrant to violate any condition of the nonimmigrant's authorization under this chapter to remain in the United States.
(VI) This clause shall not be construed as superseding clause (viii).
(viii) It is a failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1)(A) for an employer who has filed an attestation under this subsection to fail to offer to a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title, during the nonimmigrant's period of authorized employment, benefits and eligibility for benefits (including the opportunity to participate in health, life, disability, and other insurance plans; the opportunity to participate in retirement and savings plans; and cash bonuses and non-cash compensation, such as stock options (whether or not based on performance)) on the same basis, and in accordance with the same criteria, as the employer offers to United States workers.
(D) If the Secretary of Labor finds, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, that an employer has not paid wages at the wage level specified in the attestation and required under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Labor shall order the employer to provide for payment of such amounts of back pay as may be required to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1), whether or not a penalty under subparagraph (C) has been imposed.
(E) The Secretary of Labor may, on a case-by-case basis, subject an employer to random investigations for a period of up to 5 years, beginning on the date on which the employer is found by the Secretary of Labor to have committed a willful failure to meet a condition of paragraph (1) or to have made a willful misrepresentation of material fact in an attestation. The authority of the Secretary of Labor under this subparagraph shall not be construed to be subject to, or limited by, the requirements of subparagraph (A).
(F) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as superseding or preempting any other enforcement-related authority under this chapter (such as the authorities under section 1324b of this title), or any other Act.
(4) For purposes of this subsection:
(A) The term “area of employment” means the area within normal commuting distance of the worksite or physical location where the work of the nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title is or will be performed. If such worksite or location is within a Metropolitan Statistical Area, any place within such area is deemed to be within the area of employment.
(B) In the case of an attestation with respect to one or more nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title or section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title by an employer, the employer is considered to “displace” a United States worker from a job if the employer lays off the worker from a job that is essentially the equivalent of the job for which the nonimmigrant or nonimmigrants is or are sought. A job shall not be considered to be essentially equivalent of another job unless it involves essentially the same responsibilities, was held by a United States worker with substantially equivalent qualifications and experience, and is located in the same area of employment as the other job.
(C)(i) The term “lays off”, with respect to a worker--
(I) means to cause the worker's loss of employment, other than through a discharge for inadequate performance, violation of workplace rules, cause, voluntary departure, voluntary retirement, or the expiration of a grant or contract; but
(II) does not include any situation in which the worker is offered, as an alternative to such loss of employment, a similar employment opportunity with the same employer at equivalent or higher compensation and benefits than the position from which the employee was discharged, regardless of whether or not the employee accepts the offer.
(ii) Nothing in this subparagraph is intended to limit an employee's rights under a collective bargaining agreement or other employment contract.
(D) The term “United States worker” means an employee who--
(i) is a citizen or national of the United States; or
(ii) is an alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence, is admitted as a refugee under section 1157 of this title, is granted asylum under section 1158 of this title, or is an immigrant otherwise authorized, by this chapter or by the Secretary of Homeland Security, to be employed.
(t)10Foreign residence requirement
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no person admitted under section 1101(a)(15)(Q)(ii)(I) of this title, or acquiring such status after admission, shall be eligible to apply for nonimmigrant status, an immigrant visa, or permanent residence under this chapter until it is established that such person has resided and been physically present in the person's country of nationality or last residence for an aggregate of at least 2 years following departure from the United States.
(2) The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive the requirement of such 2-year foreign residence abroad if the Secretary determines that--
(A) departure from the United States would impose exceptional hardship upon the alien's spouse or child (if such spouse or child is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence); or
(B) the admission of the alien is in the public interest or the national interest of the United States.

INA § 214 (8 USC § 1184)- Admission of nonimmigrants

Updated: 
January 30, 2018

(a) Regulations
(1) The admission to the United States of any alien as a nonimmigrant shall be for such time and under such conditions as the Attorney General may by regulations prescribe, including when he deems necessary the giving of a bond with sufficient surety in such sum and containing such conditions as the Attorney General shall prescribe, to insure that at the expiration of such time or upon failure to maintain the status under which he was admitted, or to maintain any status subsequently acquired under section 1258 of this title, such alien will depart from the United States. No alien admitted to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands without a visa pursuant to section 1182(l) of this title may be authorized to enter or stay in the United States other than in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or to remain in Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for a period exceeding 45 days from date of admission to Guam or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. No alien admitted to the United States without a visa pursuant to section 1187 of this title may be authorized to remain in the United States as a nonimmigrant visitor for a period exceeding 90 days from the date of admission.

(2)(A) The period of authorized status as a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(O) of this title shall be for such period as the Attorney General may specify in order to provide for the event (or events) for which the nonimmigrant is admitted.

(B) The period of authorized status as a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(P) of this title shall be for such period as the Attorney General may specify in order to provide for the competition, event, or performance for which the nonimmigrant is admitted. In the case of nonimmigrants admitted as individual athletes under section 1101(a)(15)(P) of this title, the period of authorized status may be for an initial period (not to exceed 5 years) during which the nonimmigrant will perform as an athlete and such period may be extended by the Attorney General for an additional period of up to 5 years.

(b) Presumption of status; written waiver
Every alien (other than a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph (L) or (V) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title, and other than a nonimmigrant described in any provision of section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i) of this title except subclause (b1) of such section) shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15) of this title. An alien who is an officer or employee of any foreign government or of any international organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities under the International Organizations Immunities Act [22 U.S.C.A. § 288 et seq.], or an alien who is the attendant, servant, employee, or member of the immediate family of any such alien shall not be entitled to apply for or receive an immigrant visa, or to enter the United States as an immigrant unless he executes a written waiver in the same form and substance as is prescribed by section 1257(b) of this title.

(c) Petition of importing employer
(1) The question of importing any alien as a nonimmigrant under subparagraph (H), (L), (O), or (P)(i) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title (excluding nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title) in any specific case or specific cases shall be determined by the Attorney General, after consultation with appropriate agencies of the Government, upon petition of the importing employer. Such petition, shall be made and approved before the visa is granted. The petition shall be in such form and contain such information as the Attorney General shall prescribe. The approval of such a petition shall not, of itself, be construed as establishing that the alien is a nonimmigrant. For purposes of this subsection with respect to nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of this title, the term “appropriate agencies of Government” means the Department of Labor and includes the Department of Agriculture. The provisions of section 1188 of this title shall apply to the question of importing any alien as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a) of this title.

(2)(A) The Attorney General shall provide for a procedure under which an importing employer which meets requirements established by the Attorney General may file a blanket petition to import aliens as nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title instead of filing individual petitions under paragraph (1) to import such aliens. Such procedure shall permit the expedited processing of visas for admission of aliens covered under such a petition.

(B) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title, an alien is considered to be serving in a capacity involving specialized knowledge with respect to a company if the alien has a special knowledge of the company product and its application in international markets or has an advanced level of knowledge of processes and procedures of the company.

(C) The Attorney General shall provide a process for reviewing and acting upon petitions under this subsection with respect to nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title within 30 days after the date a completed petition has been filed.

(D) The period of authorized admission for--

(i) a nonimmigrant admitted to render services in a managerial or executive capacity under section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title shall not exceed 7 years, or

(ii) a nonimmigrant admitted to render services in a capacity that involves specialized knowledge under section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title shall not exceed 5 years.

(E) In the case of an alien spouse admitted under section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title, who is accompanying or following to join a principal alien admitted under such section, the Attorney General shall authorize the alien spouse to engage in employment in the United States and provide the spouse with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit.

(F) An alien who will serve in a capacity involving specialized knowledge with respect to an employer for purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title and will be stationed primarily at the worksite of an employer other than the petitioning employer or its affiliate, subsidiary, or parent shall not be eligible for classification under section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title if--

(i) the alien will be controlled and supervised principally by such unaffiliated employer; or

(ii) the placement of the alien at the worksite of the unaffiliated employer is essentially an arrangement to provide labor for hire for the unaffiliated employer, rather than a placement in connection with the provision of a product or service for which specialized knowledge specific to the petitioning employer is necessary.

(3) The Attorney General shall approve a petition--

(A) with respect to a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(O)(i) of this title only after consultation in accordance with paragraph (6) or, with respect to aliens seeking entry for a motion picture or television production, after consultation with the appropriate union representing the alien's occupational peers and a management organization in the area of the alien's ability, or

(B) with respect to a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(O)(ii) of this title after consultation in accordance with paragraph (6) or, in the case of such an alien seeking entry for a motion picture or television production, after consultation with such a labor organization and a management organization in the area of the alien's ability.
In the case of an alien seeking entry for a motion picture or television production, (i) any opinion under the previous sentence shall only be advisory, (ii) any such opinion that recommends denial must be in writing, (iii) in making the decision the Attorney General shall consider the exigencies and scheduling of the production, and (iv) the Attorney General shall append to the decision any such opinion. The Attorney General shall provide by regulation for the waiver of the consultation requirement under subparagraph (A) in the case of aliens who have been admitted as nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(O)(i) of this title because of extraordinary ability in the arts and who seek readmission to perform similar services within 2 years after the date of a consultation under such subparagraph. Not later than 5 days after the date such a waiver is provided, the Attorney General shall forward a copy of the petition and all supporting documentation to the national office of an appropriate labor organization.

(4)(A) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(P)(i)(a) of this title, an alien is described in this subparagraph if the alien--

(i)(I) performs as an athlete, individually or as part of a group or team, at an internationally recognized level of performance;

(II) is a professional athlete, as defined in section 1154(i)(2) of this title;

(III) performs as an athlete, or as a coach, as part of a team or franchise that is located in the United States and a member of a foreign league or association of 15 or more amateur sports teams, if--

(aa) the foreign league or association is the highest level of amateur performance of that sport in the relevant foreign country;

(bb) participation in such league or association renders players ineligible, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, to earn a scholarship in, or participate in, that sport at a college or university in the United States under the rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association; and

(cc) a significant number of the individuals who play in such league or association are drafted by a major sports league or a minor league affiliate of such a sports league; or

(IV) is a professional athlete or amateur athlete who performs individually or as part of a group in a theatrical ice skating production; and

(ii) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of performing--

(I) as such an athlete with respect to a specific athletic competition; or

(II) in the case of an individual described in clause (i)(IV), in a specific theatrical ice skating production or tour.

(B)(i) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(P)(i)(b) of this title, an alien is described in this subparagraph if the alien--

(I) performs with or is an integral and essential part of the performance of an entertainment group that has (except as provided in clause (ii)) been recognized internationally as being outstanding in the discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time,

(II) in the case of a performer or entertainer, except as provided in clause (iii), has had a sustained and substantial relationship with that group (ordinarily for at least one year) and provides functions integral to the performance of the group, and

(III) seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of performing as such a performer or entertainer or as an integral and essential part of a performance.

(ii) In the case of an entertainment group that is recognized nationally as being outstanding in its discipline for a sustained and substantial period of time, the Attorney General may, in consideration of special circumstances, waive the international recognition requirement of clause (i)(I).

(iii)(I) The one-year relationship requirement of clause (i)(II) shall not apply to 25 percent of the performers and entertainers in a group.

(II) The Attorney General may waive such one-year relationship requirement for an alien who because of illness or unanticipated and exigent circumstances replaces an essential member of the group and for an alien who augments the group by performing a critical role.

(iv) The requirements of subclauses (I) and (II) of clause (i) shall not apply to alien circus personnel who perform as part of a circus or circus group or who constitute an integral and essential part of the performance of such circus or circus group, but only if such personnel are entering the United States to join a circus that has been recognized nationally as outstanding for a sustained and substantial period of time or as part of such a circus.

(C) A person may petition the Attorney General for classification of an alien as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(P) of this title.

(D) The Attorney General shall approve petitions under this subsection with respect to nonimmigrants described in clause (i) or (iii) of section 1101(a)(15)(P) of this title only after consultation in accordance with paragraph (6).

(E) The Attorney General shall approve petitions under this subsection for nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(P)(ii) of this title only after consultation with labor organizations representing artists and entertainers in the United States.

(F)(i) No nonimmigrant visa under section 1101(a)(15)(P)(i)(a) of this title shall be issued to any alien who is a national of a country that is a state sponsor of international terrorism unless the Secretary of State determines, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that such alien does not pose a threat to the safety, national security, or national interest of the United States. In making a determination under this subparagraph, the Secretary of State shall apply standards developed by the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security and the heads of other appropriate United States agencies, that are applicable to the nationals of such states.

(ii) In this subparagraph, the term “state sponsor of international terrorism” means any country the government of which has been determined by the Secretary of State under any of the laws specified in clause (iii) to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.

(iii) The laws specified in this clause are the following:

(I) Section 4605(j)(1)(A) of Title 50 (or successor statute).

(II) Section 2780(d) of Title 22.

(III) Section 2371(a) of Title 22.

(G) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall permit a petition under this subsection to seek classification of more than 1 alien as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(P)(i)(a) of this title.

(H) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall permit an athlete, or the employer of an athlete, to seek admission to the United States for such athlete under a provision of this chapter other than section 1101(a)(15)(P)(i) of this title if the athlete is eligible under such other provision.

(5)(A) In the case of an alien who is provided nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) or 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title and who is dismissed from employment by the employer before the end of the period of authorized admission, the employer shall be liable for the reasonable costs of return transportation of the alien abroad.

(B) In the case of an alien who is admitted to the United States in nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(O) or 1101(a)(15)(P) of this title and whose employment terminates for reasons other than voluntary resignation, the employer whose offer of employment formed the basis of such nonimmigrant status and the petitioner are jointly and severally liable for the reasonable cost of return transportation of the alien abroad. The petitioner shall provide assurance satisfactory to the Attorney General that the reasonable cost of that transportation will be provided.

(6)(A)(i) To meet the consultation requirement of paragraph (3)(A) in the case of a petition for a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(O)(i) of this title (other than with respect to aliens seeking entry for a motion picture or television production), the petitioner shall submit with the petition an advisory opinion from a peer group (or other person or persons of its choosing, which may include a labor organization) with expertise in the specific field involved.

(ii) To meet the consultation requirement of paragraph (3)(B) in the case of a petition for a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(O)(ii) of this title (other than with respect to aliens seeking entry for a motion picture or television production), the petitioner shall submit with the petition an advisory opinion from a labor organization with expertise in the skill area involved.

(iii) To meet the consultation requirement of paragraph (4)(D) in the case of a petition for a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(P)(i) or 1101(a)(15)(P)(iii) of this title, the petitioner shall submit with the petition an advisory opinion from a labor organization with expertise in the specific field of athletics or entertainment involved.

(B) To meet the consultation requirements of subparagraph (A), unless the petitioner submits with the petition an advisory opinion from an appropriate labor organization, the Attorney General shall forward a copy of the petition and all supporting documentation to the national office of an appropriate labor organization within 5 days of the date of receipt of the petition. If there is a collective bargaining representative of an employer's employees in the occupational classification for which the alien is being sought, that representative shall be the appropriate labor organization.

(C) In those cases in which a petitioner described in subparagraph (A) establishes that an appropriate peer group (including a labor organization) does not exist, the Attorney General shall adjudicate the petition without requiring an advisory opinion.

(D) Any person or organization receiving a copy of a petition described in subparagraph (A) and supporting documents shall have no more than 15 days following the date of receipt of such documents within which to submit a written advisory opinion or comment or to provide a letter of no objection. Once the 15-day period has expired and the petitioner has had an opportunity, where appropriate, to supply rebuttal evidence, the Attorney General shall adjudicate such petition in no more than 14 days. The Attorney General may shorten any specified time period for emergency reasons if no unreasonable burden would be thus imposed on any participant in the process.

(E)(i) The Attorney General shall establish by regulation expedited consultation procedures in the case of nonimmigrant artists or entertainers described in section 1101(a)(15)(O) or 1101(a)(15)(P) of this title to accommodate the exigencies and scheduling of a given production or event.

(ii) The Attorney General shall establish by regulation expedited consultation procedures in the case of nonimmigrant athletes described in section 1101(a)(15)(O)(i) or 1101(a)(15)(P)(i) of this title in the case of emergency circumstances (including trades during a season).

(F) No consultation required under this subsection by the Attorney General with a nongovernmental entity shall be construed as permitting the Attorney General to delegate any authority under this subsection to such an entity. The Attorney General shall give such weight to advisory opinions provided under this section as the Attorney General determines, in his sole discretion, to be appropriate.

(7) If a petition is filed and denied under this subsection, the Attorney General shall notify the petitioner of the determination and the reasons for the denial and of the process by which the petitioner may appeal the determination.

(8) The Attorney General shall submit annually to the Committees on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and of the Senate a report describing, with respect to petitions under each subcategory of subparagraphs (H), (O), (P), and (Q) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title the following:

(A) The number of such petitions which have been filed.

(B) The number of such petitions which have been approved and the number of workers (by occupation) included in such approved petitions.

(C) The number of such petitions which have been denied and the number of workers (by occupation) requested in such denied petitions.

(D) The number of such petitions which have been withdrawn.

(E) The number of such petitions which are awaiting final action.

(9)(A) The Attorney General shall impose a fee on an employer (excluding any employer that is a primary or secondary education institution, an institution of higher education, as defined in section 1001(a) of Title 20, a nonprofit entity related to or affiliated with any such institution, a nonprofit entity which engages in established curriculum-related clinical training of students registered at any such institution, a nonprofit research organization, or a governmental research organization) filing before1 a petition under paragraph (1)

(i) initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title;

(ii) to extend the stay of an alien having such status (unless the employer previously has obtained an extension for such alien); or

(iii) to obtain authorization for an alien having such status to change employers.

(B) The amount of the fee shall be $1,500 for each such petition except that the fee shall be half the amount for each such petition by any employer with not more than 25 full-time equivalent employees who are employed in the United States (determined by including any affiliate or subsidiary of such employer).

(C) Fees collected under this paragraph shall be deposited in the Treasury in accordance with section 1356(s) of this title.

(10) An amended H-1B petition shall not be required where the petitioning employer is involved in a corporate restructuring, including but not limited to a merger, acquisition, or consolidation, where a new corporate entity succeeds to the interests and obligations of the original petitioning employer and where the terms and conditions of employment remain the same but for the identity of the petitioner.

(11)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Secretary of State, as appropriate, shall impose a fee on an employer who has filed an attestation described in section 1182(t) of this title--

(i) in order that an alien may be initially granted nonimmigrant status described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title; or

(ii) in order to satisfy the requirement of the second sentence of subsection (g)(8)(C) for an alien having such status to obtain certain extensions of stay.

(B) The amount of the fee shall be the same as the amount imposed by the Secretary of Homeland Security under paragraph (9), except that if such paragraph does not authorize such Secretary to impose any fee, no fee shall be imposed under this paragraph.

(C) Fees collected under this paragraph shall be deposited in the Treasury in accordance with section 1356(s) of this title.
(12)(A) In addition to any other fees authorized by law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall impose a fraud prevention and detection fee on an employer filing a petition under paragraph (1)--

(i) initially to grant an alien nonimmigrant status described in subparagraph (H)(i)(b) or (L) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title; or

(ii) to obtain authorization for an alien having such status to change employers.

(B) In addition to any other fees authorized by law, the Secretary of State shall impose a fraud prevention and detection fee on an alien filing an application abroad for a visa authorizing admission to the United States as a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(L) of this title, if the alien is covered under a blanket petition described in paragraph (2)(A).

(C) The amount of the fee imposed under subparagraph (A) or (B) shall be $500.

(D) The fee imposed under subparagraph (A) or (B) shall only apply to principal aliens and not to the spouses or children who are accompanying or following to join such principal aliens.

(E) Fees collected under this paragraph shall be deposited in the Treasury in accordance with section 1356(v) of this title.
(13)(A) In addition to any other fees authorized by law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall impose a fraud prevention and detection fee on an employer filing a petition under paragraph (1) for nonimmigrant workers described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title.

(B) The amount of the fee imposed under subparagraph (A) shall be $150.

(14)(A) If the Secretary of Homeland Security finds, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, a substantial failure to meet any of the conditions of the petition to admit or otherwise provide status to a nonimmigrant worker under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title or a willful misrepresentation of a material fact in such petition--

(i) the Secretary of Homeland Security may, in addition to any other remedy authorized by law, impose such administrative remedies (including civil monetary penalties in an amount not to exceed $10,000 per violation) as the Secretary of Homeland Security determines to be appropriate; and

(ii) the Secretary of Homeland Security may deny petitions filed with respect to that employer under section 1154 of this title or paragraph (1) of this subsection during a period of at least 1 year but not more than 5 years for aliens to be employed by the employer.

(B) The Secretary of Homeland Security may delegate to the Secretary of Labor, with the agreement of the Secretary of Labor, any of the authority given to the Secretary of Homeland Security under subparagraph (A)(i).

(C) In determining the level of penalties to be assessed under subparagraph (A), the highest penalties shall be reserved for willful failures to meet any of the conditions of the petition that involve harm to United States workers.

(D) In this paragraph, the term “substantial failure” means the willful failure to comply with the requirements of this section that constitutes a significant deviation from the terms and conditions of a petition.

(d) Issuance of visa to fiancée or fiancé of citizen

(1) A visa shall not be issued under the provisions of section 1101(a)(15)(K)(i) of this title until the consular officer has received a petition filed in the United States by the fiancée or fiancé of the applying alien and approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security. The petition shall be in such form and contain such information as the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, by regulation, prescribe. Such information shall include information on any criminal convictions of the petitioner for any specified crime described in paragraph (3)(B) and information on any permanent protection or restraining order issued against the petitioner related to any specified crime described in paragraph (3)(B)(i). It shall be approved only after satisfactory evidence is submitted by the petitioner to establish that the parties have previously met in person within 2 years before the date of filing the petition, have a bona fide intention to marry, and are legally able and actually willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within a period of ninety days after the alien's arrival, except that the Secretary of Homeland Security in his discretion may waive the requirement that the parties have previously met in person. In the event the marriage with the petitioner does not occur within three months after the admission of the said alien and minor children, they shall be required to depart from the United States and upon failure to do so shall be removed in accordance with sections 1229a and 1231 of this title.

(2)(A) Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), the Secretary of Homeland Security may not approve a petition under paragraph (1) unless the Secretary has verified that--

(i) the petitioner has not, previous to the pending petition, petitioned under paragraph (1) with respect to two or more applying aliens; and

(ii) if the petitioner has had such a petition previously approved, 2 years have elapsed since the filing of such previously approved petition.

(B) The Secretary of Homeland Security may, in the Secretary's discretion, waive the limitations in subparagraph (A) if justification exists for such a waiver. Except in extraordinary circumstances and subject to subparagraph (C), such a waiver shall not be granted if the petitioner has a record of violent criminal offenses against a person or persons.

(C)(i) The Secretary of Homeland Security is not limited by the criminal court record and shall grant a waiver of the condition described in the second sentence of subparagraph (B) in the case of a petitioner described in clause (ii).

(ii) A petitioner described in this clause is a petitioner who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty and who is or was not the primary perpetrator of violence in the relationship upon a determination that--

(I) the petitioner was acting in self-defense;

(II) the petitioner was found to have violated a protection order intended to protect the petitioner; or

(III) the petitioner committed, was arrested for, was convicted of, or pled guilty to committing a crime that did not result in serious bodily injury and where there was a connection between the crime and the petitioner's having been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty.

(iii) In acting on applications under this subparagraph, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consider any credible evidence relevant to the application. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Secretary.

(3) In this subsection:

(A) The terms “domestic violence”, “sexual assault”, “child abuse and neglect”, “dating violence”, “elder abuse”, and “stalking” have the meaning given such terms in section 3 of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005.

(B) The term “specified crime” means the following:

(i) Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, dating violence, elder abuse, stalking, or an attempt to commit any such crime.

(ii) Homicide, murder, manslaughter, rape, abusive sexual contact, sexual exploitation, incest, torture, trafficking, peonage, holding hostage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment, or an attempt to commit any of the crimes described in this clause.

(iii) At least three convictions for crimes relating to a controlled substance or alcohol not arising from a single act.

(e) Nonimmigrant professionals and annual numerical limit

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an alien who is a citizen of Canada and seeks to enter the United States under and pursuant to the provisions of Annex 1502.1 (United States of America), Part C--Professionals, of the United States-Canada Free-Trade Agreement to engage in business activities at a professional level as provided for therein may be admitted for such purpose under regulations of the Attorney General promulgated after consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor.

(2) An alien who is a citizen of Canada or Mexico, and the spouse and children of any such alien if accompanying or following to join such alien, who seeks to enter the United States under and pursuant to the provisions of Section D of Annex 1603 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (in this subsection referred to as “NAFTA”) to engage in business activities at a professional level as provided for in such Annex, may be admitted for such purpose under regulations of the Attorney General promulgated after consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor. For purposes of this chapter, including the issuance of entry documents and the application of subsection (b), such alien shall be treated as if seeking classification, or classifiable, as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15) of this title. The admission of an alien who is a citizen of Mexico shall be subject to paragraphs (3), (4), and (5). For purposes of this paragraph and paragraphs (3), (4), and (5), the term “citizen of Mexico” means “citizen” as defined in Annex 1608 of NAFTA.

(3) The Attorney General shall establish an annual numerical limit on admissions under paragraph (2) of aliens who are citizens of Mexico, as set forth in Appendix 1603.D.4 of Annex 1603 of the NAFTA. Subject to paragraph (4), the annual numerical limit--

(A) beginning with the second year that NAFTA is in force, may be increased in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5(a) of Section D of such Annex, and

(B) shall cease to apply as provided for in paragraph 3 of such Appendix.

(4) The annual numerical limit referred to in paragraph (3) may be increased or shall cease to apply (other than by operation of paragraph 3 of such Appendix) only if--

(A) the President has obtained advice regarding the proposed action from the appropriate advisory committees established under section 2155 of Title 19;

(B) the President has submitted a report to the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives that sets forth--

(i) the action proposed to be taken and the reasons therefor, and

(ii) the advice obtained under subparagraph (A);

(C) a period of at least 60 calendar days that begins on the first day on which the President has met the requirements of subparagraphs (A) and (B) with respect to such action has expired; and

(D) the President has consulted with such committees regarding the proposed action during the period referred to in subparagraph (C).

(5) During the period that the provisions of Appendix 1603.D.4 of Annex 1603 of the NAFTA apply, the entry of an alien who is a citizen of Mexico under and pursuant to the provisions of Section D of Annex 1603 of NAFTA shall be subject to the attestation requirement of section 1182(m) of this title, in the case of a registered nurse, or the application requirement of section 1182(n) of this title, in the case of all other professions set out in Appendix 1603.D.1 of Annex 1603 of NAFTA, and the petition requirement of subsection (c), to the extent and in the manner prescribed in regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Labor, with respect to sections 1182(m) and 1182(n) of this title, and the Attorney General, with respect to subsection (c).

(6) In the case of an alien spouse admitted under section 1101(a)(15)(E) of this title, who is accompanying or following to join a principal alien admitted under such section, the Attorney General shall authorize the alien spouse to engage in employment in the United States and provide the spouse with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate work permit.

(f) Denial of crewmember status in case of certain labor disputes

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), no alien shall be entitled to nonimmigrant status described in section 1101(a)(15)(D) of this title if the alien intends to land for the purpose of performing service on board a vessel of the United States (as defined in section 116 of Title 46) or on an aircraft of an air carrier (as defined in section 40102(a)(2) of Title 49) during a labor dispute where there is a strike or lockout in the bargaining unit of the employer in which the alien intends to perform such service.

(2) An alien described in paragraph (1)--

(A) may not be paroled into the United States pursuant to section 1182(d)(5) of this title unless the Attorney General determines that the parole of such alien is necessary to protect the national security of the United States; and

(B) shall be considered not to be a bona fide crewman for purposes of section 1282(b) of this title.

(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien if the air carrier or owner or operator of such vessel that employs the alien provides documentation that satisfies the Attorney General that the alien--

(A) has been an employee of such employer for a period of not less than 1 year preceding the date that a strike or lawful lockout commenced;

(B) has served as a qualified crewman for such employer at least once in each of 3 months during the 12-month period preceding such date; and

(C) shall continue to provide the same services that such alien provided as such a crewman.

(g) Temporary workers and trainees; limitation on numbers

(1) The total number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status during any fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 1992)--

(A) under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title, may not exceed--

(i) 65,000 in each fiscal year before fiscal year 1999;

(ii) 115,000 in fiscal year 1999;

(iii) 115,000 in fiscal year 2000;

(iv) 195,000 in fiscal year 2001;

(v) 195,000 in fiscal year 2002;

(vi) 195,000 in fiscal year 2003; and

(vii) 65,000 in each succeeding fiscal year; or

(B) under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title may not exceed 66,000.

(2) The numerical limitations of paragraph (1) shall only apply to principal aliens and not to the spouses or children of such aliens.

(3) Aliens who are subject to the numerical limitations of paragraph (1) shall be issued visas (or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status) in the order in which petitions are filed for such visas or status. If an alien who was issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status and counted against the numerical limitations of paragraph (1) is found to have been issued such visa or otherwise provided such status by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact and such visa or nonimmigrant status is revoked, then one number shall be restored to the total number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided such status under the numerical limitations of paragraph (1) in the fiscal year in which the petition is revoked, regardless of the fiscal year in which the petition was approved.

(4) In the case of a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title, the period of authorized admission as such a nonimmigrant may not exceed 6 years.

(5) The numerical limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A) shall not apply to any nonimmigrant alien issued a visa or otherwise provided status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title who--

(A) is employed (or has received an offer of employment) at an institution of higher education (as defined in section 1001(a) of Title 20), or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity;

(B) is employed (or has received an offer of employment) at a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization; or

(C) has earned a master's or higher degree from a United States institution of higher education (as defined in section 1001(a) of Title 20), until the number of aliens who are exempted from such numerical limitation during such year exceeds 20,000.

(6) Any alien who ceases to be employed by an employer described in paragraph (5)(A) shall, if employed as a nonimmigrant alien described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title, who has not previously been counted toward the numerical limitations contained in paragraph (1)(A), be counted toward those limitations the first time the alien is employed by an employer other than one described in paragraph (5).

(7) Any alien who has already been counted, within the 6 years prior to the approval of a petition described in subsection (c), toward the numerical limitations of paragraph (1)(A) shall not again be counted toward those limitations unless the alien would be eligible for a full 6 years of authorized admission at the time the petition is filed. Where multiple petitions are approved for 1 alien, that alien shall be counted only once.

(8)(A) The agreements referred to in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title are--

(i) the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement; and

(ii) the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

(B)(i) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish annual numerical limitations on approvals of initial applications by aliens for admission under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title.

(ii) The annual numerical limitations described in clause (i) shall not exceed--

(I) 1,400 for nationals of Chile (as defined in article 14.9 of the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement) for any fiscal year; and

(II) 5,400 for nationals of Singapore (as defined in Annex 1A of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement) for any fiscal year.

(iii) The annual numerical limitations described in clause (i) shall only apply to principal aliens and not to the spouses or children of such aliens.

(iv) The annual numerical limitation described in paragraph (1)(A) is reduced by the amount of the annual numerical limitations established under clause (i). However, if a numerical limitation established under clause (i) has not been exhausted at the end of a given fiscal year, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall adjust upwards the numerical limitation in paragraph (1)(A) for that fiscal year by the amount remaining in the numerical limitation under clause (i). Visas under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title may be issued pursuant to such adjustment within the first 45 days of the next fiscal year to aliens who had applied for such visas during the fiscal year for which the adjustment was made.

(C) The period of authorized admission as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title shall be 1 year, and may be extended, but only in 1-year increments. After every second extension, the next following extension shall not be granted unless the Secretary of Labor had determined and certified to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State that the intending employer has filed with the Secretary of Labor an attestation under section 1182(t)(1) of this title for the purpose of permitting the nonimmigrant to obtain such extension.

(D) The numerical limitation described in paragraph (1)(A) for a fiscal year shall be reduced by one for each alien granted an extension under subparagraph (C) during such year who has obtained 5 or more consecutive prior extensions.

(9)(A) Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), an alien who has already been counted toward the numerical limitation of paragraph (1)(B) during fiscal year 2013, 2014, or 2015 shall not again be counted toward such limitation during fiscal year 2016. Such an alien shall be considered a returning worker.

(B) A petition to admit or otherwise provide status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title shall include, with respect to a returning worker--

(i) all information and evidence that the Secretary of Homeland Security determines is required to support a petition for status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title;

(ii) the full name of the alien; and

(iii) a certification to the Department of Homeland Security that the alien is a returning worker.

(C) An H-2B visa or grant of nonimmigrant status for a returning worker shall be approved only if the alien is confirmed to be a returning worker by--

(i) the Department of State; or

(ii) if the alien is visa exempt or seeking to change to status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title, the Department of Homeland Security.

(10) The numerical limitations of paragraph (1)(B) shall be allocated for a fiscal year so that the total number of aliens subject to such numerical limits who enter the United States pursuant to a visa or are accorded nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of this title during the first 6 months of such fiscal year is not more than 33,000.

(11)(A) The Secretary of State may not approve a number of initial applications submitted for aliens described in section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title that is more than the applicable numerical limitation set out in this paragraph.

(B) The applicable numerical limitation referred to in subparagraph (A) is 10,500 for each fiscal year.

(C) The applicable numerical limitation referred to in subparagraph (A) shall only apply to principal aliens and not to the spouses or children of such aliens.

(h) Intention to abandon foreign residence

The fact that an alien is the beneficiary of an application for a preference status filed under section 1154 of this title or has otherwise sought permanent residence in the United States shall not constitute evidence of an intention to abandon a foreign residence for purposes of obtaining a visa as a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph (H)(i)(b) or (c), (L), or (V) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title or otherwise obtaining or maintaining the status of a nonimmigrant described in such subparagraph, if the alien had obtained a change of status under section 1258 of this title to a classification as such a nonimmigrant before the alien's most recent departure from the United States.

(i) “Specialty occupation” defined

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), for purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title, section 1101(a)(15)(E)(iii) of this title, and paragraph (2), the term “specialty occupation” means an occupation that requires--

(A) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and

(B) attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

(2) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title, the requirements of this paragraph, with respect to a specialty occupation, are--

(A) full state licensure to practice in the occupation, if such licensure is required to practice in the occupation,

(B) completion of the degree described in paragraph (1)(B) for the occupation, or

(C)(i) experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree, and (ii) recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty.

(3) For purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b1) of this title, the term “specialty occupation” means an occupation that requires--

(A) theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and

(B) attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

(j) Labor disputes

(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an alien who is a citizen of Canada or Mexico who seeks to enter the United States under and pursuant to the provisions of Section B, Section C, or Section D of Annex 1603 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, shall not be classified as a nonimmigrant under such provisions if there is in progress a strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute in the occupational classification at the place or intended place of employment, unless such alien establishes, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Attorney General, that the alien's entry will not affect adversely the settlement of the strike or lockout or the employment of any person who is involved in the strike or lockout. Notice of a determination under this paragraph shall be given as may be required by paragraph 3 of article 1603 of such Agreement. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “citizen of Mexico” means “citizen” as defined in Annex 1608 of such Agreement.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter except section 1182(t)(1) of this title, and subject to regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Homeland Security, an alien who seeks to enter the United States under and pursuant to the provisions of an agreement listed in subsection (g)(8)(A), and the spouse and children of such an alien if accompanying or following to join the alien, may be denied admission as a nonimmigrant under subparagraph (E), (L), or (H)(i)(b1) of section 1101(a)(15) of this title if there is in progress a labor dispute in the occupational classification at the place or intended place of employment, unless such alien establishes, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Secretary of Homeland Security after consultation with the Secretary of Labor, that the alien's entry will not affect adversely the settlement of the labor dispute or the employment of any person who is involved in the labor dispute. Notice of a determination under this paragraph shall be given as may be required by such agreement.

(k) Numerical limitations; period of admission; conditions for admission and stay; annual report

(1) The number of aliens who may be provided a visa as nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(S)(i) of this title in any fiscal year may not exceed 200. The number of aliens who may be provided a visa as nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(S)(ii) of this title in any fiscal year may not exceed 50.

(2) The period of admission of an alien as such a nonimmigrant may not exceed 3 years. Such period may not be extended by the Attorney General.

(3) As a condition for the admission, and continued stay in lawful status, of such a nonimmigrant, the nonimmigrant--

(A) shall report not less often than quarterly to the Attorney General such information concerning the alien's whereabouts and activities as the Attorney General may require;

(B) may not be convicted of any criminal offense punishable by a term of imprisonment of 1 year or more after the date of such admission;

(C) must have executed a form that waives the nonimmigrant's right to contest, other than on the basis of an application for withholding of removal, any action for removal of the alien instituted before the alien obtains lawful permanent resident status; and

(D) shall abide by any other condition, limitation, or restriction imposed by the Attorney General.

(4) The Attorney General shall submit a report annually to the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives and the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate concerning--

(A) the number of such nonimmigrants admitted;

(B) the number of successful criminal prosecutions or investigations resulting from cooperation of such aliens;

(C) the number of terrorist acts prevented or frustrated resulting from cooperation of such aliens;

(D) the number of such nonimmigrants whose admission or cooperation has not resulted in successful criminal prosecution or investigation or the prevention or frustration of a terrorist act; and

(E) the number of such nonimmigrants who have failed to report quarterly (as required under paragraph (3)) or who have been convicted of crimes in the United States after the date of their admission as such a nonimmigrant.

(l) Restrictions on waiver

(1) In the case of a request by an interested State agency, or by an interested Federal agency, for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement under section 1182(e) of this title on behalf of an alien described in clause (iii) of such section, the Attorney General shall not grant such waiver unless--

(A) in the case of an alien who is otherwise contractually obligated to return to a foreign country, the government of such country furnishes the Director of the United States Information Agency with a statement in writing that it has no objection to such waiver;

(B) in the case of a request by an interested State agency, the grant of such waiver would not cause the number of waivers allotted for that State for that fiscal year to exceed 30;

(C) in the case of a request by an interested Federal agency or by an interested State agency--

(i) the alien demonstrates a bona fide offer of full-time employment at a health facility or health care organization, which employment has been determined by the Attorney General to be in the public interest; and

(ii) the alien agrees to begin employment with the health facility or health care organization within 90 days of receiving such waiver, and agrees to continue to work for a total of not less than 3 years (unless the Attorney General determines that extenuating circumstances exist, such as closure of the facility or hardship to the alien, which would justify a lesser period of employment at such health facility or health care organization, in which case the alien must demonstrate another bona fide offer of employment at a health facility or health care organization for the remainder of such 3-year period); and

(D) in the case of a request by an interested Federal agency (other than a request by an interested Federal agency to employ the alien full-time in medical research or training) or by an interested State agency, the alien agrees to practice primary care or specialty medicine in accordance with paragraph (2) for a total of not less than 3 years only in the geographic area or areas which are designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services as having a shortage of health care professionals, except that--

(i) in the case of a request by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the alien shall not be required to practice medicine in a geographic area designated by the Secretary;

(ii) in the case of a request by an interested State agency, the head of such State agency determines that the alien is to practice medicine under such agreement in a facility that serves patients who reside in one or more geographic areas so designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (without regard to whether such facility is located within such a designated geographic area), and the grant of such waiver would not cause the number of the waivers granted on behalf of aliens for such State for a fiscal year (within the limitation in subparagraph (B)) in accordance with the conditions of this clause to exceed 10; and

(iii) in the case of a request by an interested Federal agency or by an interested State agency for a waiver for an alien who agrees to practice specialty medicine in a facility located in a geographic area so designated by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the request shall demonstrate, based on criteria established by such agency, that there is a shortage of health care professionals able to provide services in the appropriate medical specialty to the patients who will be served by the alien.

(2)(A) Notwithstanding section 1258(a)(2) of this title, the Attorney General may change the status of an alien who qualifies under this subsection and section 1182(e) of this title to that of an alien described in section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title. The numerical limitations contained in subsection (g)(1)(A) shall not apply to any alien whose status is changed under the preceding sentence, if the alien obtained a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement upon a request by an interested Federal agency or an interested State agency.

(B) No person who has obtained a change of status under subparagraph (A) and who has failed to fulfill the terms of the contract with the health facility or health care organization named in the waiver application shall be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, for permanent residence, or for any other change of nonimmigrant status, until it is established that such person has resided and been physically present in the country of his nationality or his last residence for an aggregate of at least 2 years following departure from the United States.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, the 2-year foreign residence requirement under section 1182(e) of this title shall apply with respect to an alien described in clause (iii) of such section, who has not otherwise been accorded status under section 1101(a)(27)(H) of this title, if--

(A) at any time the alien ceases to comply with any agreement entered into under subparagraph (C) or (D) of paragraph (1); or

(B) the alien's employment ceases to benefit the public interest at any time during the 3-year period described in paragraph (1)(C).

(m) Nonimmigrant elementary and secondary school students

(1) An alien may not be accorded status as a nonimmigrant under clause (i) or (iii) of section 1101(a)(15)(F) of this title in order to pursue a course of study--

(A) at a public elementary school or in a publicly funded adult education program; or

(B) at a public secondary school unless--

(i) the aggregate period of such status at such a school does not exceed 12 months with respect to any alien, and (ii) the alien demonstrates that the alien has reimbursed the local educational agency that administers the school for the full, unsubsidized per capita cost of providing education at such school for the period of the alien's attendance.

(2) An alien who obtains the status of a nonimmigrant under clause (i) or (iii) of section 1101(a)(15)(F) of this title in order to pursue a course of study at a private elementary or secondary school or in a language training program that is not publicly funded shall be considered to have violated such status, and the alien's visa under section 1101(a)(15)(F) of this title shall be void, if the alien terminates or abandons such course of study at such a school and undertakes a course of study at a public elementary school, in a publicly funded adult education program, in a publicly funded adult education language training program, or at a public secondary school (unless the requirements of paragraph (1)(B) are met).

(n) Increased portability of H-1B status

(1) A nonimmigrant alien described in paragraph (2) who was previously issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b) of this title is authorized to accept new employment upon the filing by the prospective employer of a new petition on behalf of such nonimmigrant as provided under subsection (a). Employment authorization shall continue for such alien until the new petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, such authorization shall cease.

(2) A nonimmigrant alien described in this paragraph is a nonimmigrant alien--

(A) who has been lawfully admitted into the United States;

(B) on whose behalf an employer has filed a nonfrivolous petition for new employment before the date of expiration of the period of stay authorized by the Attorney General; and

(C) who, subsequent to such lawful admission, has not been employed without authorization in the United States before the filing of such petition.

(o) Nonimmigrants guilty of trafficking in persons

(1) No alien shall be eligible for admission to the United States under section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title if there is substantial reason to believe that the alien has committed an act of a severe form of trafficking in persons (as defined in section 7102 of Title 22).

(2) The total number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status during any fiscal year under section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title may not exceed 5,000.

(3) The numerical limitation of paragraph (2) shall only apply to principal aliens and not to the spouses, sons, daughters, siblings, or parents of such aliens.

(4) An unmarried alien who seeks to accompany, or follow to join, a parent granted status under section 1101(a)(15)(T)(i) of this title, and who was under 21 years of age on the date on which such parent applied for such status, shall continue to be classified as a child for purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of this title, if the alien attains 21 years of age after such parent's application was filed but while it was pending.

(5) An alien described in clause (i) of section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title shall continue to be treated as an alien described in clause (ii)(I) of such section if the alien attains 21 years of age after the alien's application for status under such clause (i) is filed but while it is pending.

(6) In making a determination under section 1101(a)(15)(T)(i)(III)(aa) with respect to an alien, statements from State and local law enforcement officials that the alien has complied with any reasonable request for assistance in the investigation or prosecution of crimes such as kidnapping, rape, slavery, or other forced labor offenses, where severe forms of trafficking in persons (as defined in section 7102 of Title 22) appear to have been involved, shall be considered.

(7)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), an alien who is issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title may be granted such status for a period of not more than 4 years.

(B) An alien who is issued a visa or otherwise provided nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title may extend the period of such status beyond the period described in subparagraph (A) if--

(i) a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official, prosecutor, judge, or other authority investigating or prosecuting activity relating to human trafficking or certifies that the presence of the alien in the United States is necessary to assist in the investigation or prosecution of such activity;

(ii) the alien is eligible for relief under section 1255(l) of this title and is unable to obtain such relief because regulations have not been issued to implement such section; or

(iii) the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that an extension of the period of such nonimmigrant status is warranted due to exceptional circumstances.

(C) Nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(T) of this title shall be extended during the pendency of an application for adjustment of status under section 1255(l) of this title.

(p) Requirements applicable to section 1101(a)(15)(U) visas

(1) Petitioning procedures for section 1101(a)(15)(U) visas

The petition filed by an alien under section 1101(a)(15)(U)(i) of this title shall contain a certification from a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official, prosecutor, judge, or other Federal, State, or local authority investigating criminal activity described in section 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of this title. This certification may also be provided by an official of the Service whose ability to provide such certification is not limited to information concerning immigration violations. This certification shall state that the alien “has been helpful, is being helpful, or is likely to be helpful” in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity described in section 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of this title.

(2) Numerical limitations

(A) The number of aliens who may be issued visas or otherwise provided status as nonimmigrants under section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title in any fiscal year shall not exceed 10,000.

(B) The numerical limitations in subparagraph (A) shall only apply to principal aliens described in section 1101(a)(15)(U)(i) of this title, and not to spouses, children, or, in the case of alien children, the alien parents of such children.

(3) Duties of the Attorney General with respect to “U” visa nonimmigrants

With respect to nonimmigrant aliens described in subsection (a)(15)(U) of section 1101 of this title--

(A) the Attorney General and other government officials, where appropriate, shall provide those aliens with referrals to nongovernmental organizations to advise the aliens regarding their options while in the United States and the resources available to them; and

(B) the Attorney General shall, during the period those aliens are in lawful temporary resident status under that subsection, provide the aliens with employment authorization.

(4) Credible evidence considered

In acting on any petition filed under this subsection, the consular officer or the Attorney General, as appropriate, shall consider any credible evidence relevant to the petition.

(5) Nonexclusive relief

Nothing in this subsection limits the ability of aliens who qualify for status under section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title to seek any other immigration benefit or status for which the alien may be eligible.

(6) Duration of status

The authorized period of status of an alien as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title shall be for a period of not more than 4 years, but shall be extended upon certification from a Federal, State, or local law enforcement official, prosecutor, judge, or other Federal, State, or local authority investigating or prosecuting criminal activity described in section 1101(a)(15)(U)(iii) of this title that the alien's presence in the United States is required to assist in the investigation or prosecution of such criminal activity. The Secretary of Homeland Security may extend, beyond the 4-year period authorized under this section, the authorized period of status of an alien as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title if the Secretary determines that an extension of such period is warranted due to exceptional circumstances. Such alien's nonimmigrant status shall be extended beyond the 4-year period authorized under this section if the alien is eligible for relief under section 1255(m) of this title and is unable to obtain such relief because regulations have not been issued to implement such section and shall be extended during the pendency of an application for adjustment of status under section 1255(m) of this title. The Secretary may grant work authorization to any alien who has a pending, bona fide application for nonimmigrant status under section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title.

(7) Age determinations

(A) Children

An unmarried alien who seeks to accompany, or follow to join, a parent granted status under section 1101(a)(15)(U)(i) of this title, and who was under 21 years of age on the date on which such parent petitioned for such status, shall continue to be classified as a child for purposes of section 1101(a)(15)(U)(ii) of this title, if the alien attains 21 years of age after such parent's petition was filed but while it was pending.

(B) Principal aliens

An alien described in clause (i) of section 1101(a)(15)(U) of this title shall continue to be treated as an alien described in clause (ii)(I) of such section if the alien attains 21 years of age after the alien's application for status under such clause (i) is filed but while it is pending.

(q) Employment of nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(V)

(1) In the case of a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(V) of this title

(A) the Attorney General shall authorize the alien to engage in employment in the United States during the period of authorized admission and shall provide the alien with an “employment authorized” endorsement or other appropriate document signifying authorization of employment; and

(B) the period of authorized admission as such a nonimmigrant shall terminate 30 days after the date on which any of the following is denied:

(i) The petition filed under section 1154 of this title to accord the alien a status under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title (or, in the case of a child granted nonimmigrant status based on eligibility to receive a visa under section 1153(d) of this title, the petition filed to accord the child's parent a status under section 1153(a)(2)(A) of this title).

(ii) The alien's application for an immigrant visa pursuant to the approval of such petition.

(iii) The alien's application for adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title pursuant to the approval of such petition.

(2) In determining whether an alien is eligible to be admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(V) of this title, the grounds for inadmissibility specified in section 1182(a)(9)

(B) of this title shall not apply.

(3) The status of an alien physically present in the United States may be adjusted by the Attorney General, in the discretion of the Attorney General and under such regulations as the Attorney General may prescribe, to that of a nonimmigrant under section 1101(a)(15)(V) of this title, if the alien

(A) applies for such adjustment;

(B) satisfies the requirements of such section; and

(C) is eligible to be admitted to the United States, except in determining such admissibility, the grounds for inadmissibility specified in paragraphs (6)(A), (7), and (9)(B) of section 1182(a) of this title shall not apply.

(r) Visas of nonimmigrants described in section 1101(a)(15)(K)(ii)

(1) A visa shall not be issued under the provisions of section 1101(a)(15)(K)(ii) of this title until the consular officer has received a petition filed in the United States by the spouse of the applying alien and approved by the Attorney General. The petition shall be in such form and contain such information as the Attorney General shall, by regulation, prescribe. Such information shall include information on any criminal convictions of the petitioner for any specified crime described in paragraph (5)(B) and information on any permanent protection or restraining order issued against the petitioner related to any specified crime described in subsection2 (5)(B)(i).

(2) In the case of an alien seeking admission under section 1101(a)(15)(K)(ii) of this title who concluded a marriage with a citizen of the United States outside the United States, the alien shall be considered inadmissible under section 1182(a)(7)(B) of this title if the alien is not at the time of application for admission in possession of a valid nonimmigrant visa issued by a consular officer in the foreign state in which the marriage was concluded.

(3) In the case of a nonimmigrant described in section 1101(a)(15)(K)(ii) of this title, and any child of such a nonimmigrant who was admitted as accompanying, or following to join, such a nonimmigrant, the period of authorized admission shall terminate 30 days after the date on which any of the following is denied:

(A) The petition filed under section 1154 of this title to accord the principal alien status under section 1151(b)(2)(A)(i) of this title.

(B) The principal alien's application for an immigrant visa pursuant to the approval of such petition.

(C) The principal alien's application for adjustment of status under section 1255 of this title pursuant to the approval of such petition.

(4)(A) The Secretary of Homeland Security shall create a database for the purpose of tracking multiple visa petitions filed for fiancé(e)s and spouses under clauses (i) and (ii) of section 1101(a)(15)(K) of this title. Upon approval of a second visa petition under section 1101(a)(15)(K) of this title for a fiancé(e) or spouse filed by the same United States citizen petitioner, the petitioner shall be notified by the Secretary that information concerning the petitioner has been entered into the multiple visa petition tracking database. All subsequent fiance(e) or spouse nonimmigrant visa petitions filed by that petitioner under such section shall be entered in the database.

(B)(i) Once a petitioner has had two fiance(e) or spousal petitions approved under clause (i) or (ii) of section 1101(a)(15)(K) of this title, if a subsequent petition is filed under such section less than 10 years after the date the first visa petition was filed under such section, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall notify both the petitioner and beneficiary of any such subsequent petition about the number of previously approved fiance(e) or spousal petitions listed in the database.

(ii) To notify the beneficiary as required by clause (i), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide such notice to the Secretary of State for inclusion in the mailing to the beneficiary described in section 1375a(a)(5)(A)(i) of this title.

(5) In this subsection:

(A) The terms “domestic violence”, “sexual assault”, “child abuse and neglect”, “dating violence”, “elder abuse”, and “stalking” have the meaning given such terms in section 3 of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005.

(B) The term “specified crime” means the following:

(i) Domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse and neglect, dating violence, elder abuse, stalking, or an attempt to commit any such crime.

(ii) Homicide, murder, manslaughter, rape, abusive sexual contact, sexual exploitation, incest, torture, trafficking, peonage, holding hostage, involuntary servitude, slave trade, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful criminal restraint, false imprisonment, or an attempt to commit any of the crimes described in this clause.

(iii) At least three convictions for crimes relating to a controlled substance or alcohol not arising from a single act.

INA § 216 (8 USC 1186a)- Conditional permanent resident status for certain alien spouses and sons and daughters

Updated: 
January 30, 2018
(a) In general
(1) Conditional basis for status
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, an alien spouse (as defined in subsection (h)(1)) and an alien son or daughter (as defined in subsection (h)(2)) shall be considered, at the time of obtaining the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, to have obtained such status on a conditional basis subject to the provisions of this section.
(2) Notice of requirements
(A) At time of obtaining permanent residence
At the time an alien spouse or alien son or daughter obtains permanent resident status on a conditional basis under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for notice to such a spouse, son, or daughter respecting the provisions of this section and the requirements of subsection (c)(1) to have the conditional basis of such status removed.
(B) At time of required petition
In addition, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall attempt to provide notice to such a spouse, son, or daughter, at or about the beginning of the 90-day period described in subsection (d)(2)(A), of the requirements of subsections1 (c)(1).
(C) Effect of failure to provide notice
The failure of the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide a notice under this paragraph shall not affect the enforcement of the provisions of this section with respect to such a spouse, son, or daughter.
(b) Termination of status if finding that qualifying marriage improper
(1) In general
In the case of an alien with permanent resident status on a conditional basis under subsection (a), if the Secretary of Homeland Security determines, before the second anniversary of the alien's obtaining the status of lawful admission for permanent residence, that--
(A) the qualifying marriage--
(i) was entered into for the purpose of procuring an alien's admission as an immigrant, or
(ii) has been judicially annulled or terminated, other than through the death of a spouse; or
(B) a fee or other consideration was given (other than a fee or other consideration to an attorney for assistance in preparation of a lawful petition) for the filing of a petition under section 1154(a) of this title or subsection (d) or (p) of section 1184 of this title with respect to the alien;
the Secretary of Homeland Security shall so notify the parties involved and, subject to paragraph (2), shall terminate the permanent resident status of the alien (or aliens) involved as of the date of the determination.
(2) Hearing in removal proceeding
Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated under paragraph (1) may request a review of such determination in a proceeding to remove the alien. In such proceeding, the burden of proof shall be on the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that a condition described in paragraph (1) is met.
(c) Requirements of timely petition and interview for removal of condition
(1) In general
In order for the conditional basis established under subsection (a) for an alien spouse or an alien son or daughter to be removed--
(A) the alien spouse and the petitioning spouse (if not deceased) jointly must submit to the Secretary of Homeland Security, during the period described in subsection (d)(2), a petition which requests the removal of such conditional basis and which states, under penalty of perjury, the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1), and
(B) in accordance with subsection (d)(3), the alien spouse and the petitioning spouse (if not deceased) must appear for a personal interview before an officer or employee of the Department of Homeland Security respecting the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1).
(2) Termination of permanent resident status for failure to file petition or have personal interview
(A) In general
In the case of an alien with permanent resident status on a conditional basis under subsection (a), if--
(i) no petition is filed with respect to the alien in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1)(A), or
(ii) unless there is good cause shown, the alien spouse and petitioning spouse fail to appear at the interview described in paragraph (1)(B),
the Secretary of Homeland Security shall terminate the permanent resident status of the alien as of the second anniversary of the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence.
(B) Hearing in removal proceeding
In any removal proceeding with respect to an alien whose permanent resident status is terminated under subparagraph (A), the burden of proof shall be on the alien to establish compliance with the conditions of paragraphs (1)(A) and (1)(B).
(3) Determination after petition and interview
(A) In general
If--
(i) a petition is filed in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1)(A), and
(ii) the alien spouse and petitioning spouse appear at the interview described in paragraph (1)(B),
the Secretary of Homeland Security shall make a determination, within 90 days of the date of the interview, as to whether the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1) and alleged in the petition are true with respect to the qualifying marriage.
(B) Removal of conditional basis if favorable determination
If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that such facts and information are true, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall so notify the parties involved and shall remove the conditional basis of the parties effective as of the second anniversary of the alien's obtaining the status of lawful admission for permanent residence.
(C) Termination if adverse determination
If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines that such facts and information are not true, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall so notify the parties involved and, subject to subparagraph (D), shall terminate the permanent resident status of an alien spouse or an alien son or daughter as of the date of the determination.
(D) Hearing in removal proceeding
Any alien whose permanent resident status is terminated under subparagraph (C) may request a review of such determination in a proceeding to remove the alien. In such proceeding, the burden of proof shall be on the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the facts and information described in subsection (d)(1) and alleged in the petition are not true with respect to the qualifying marriage.
(4) Hardship waiver
The Secretary of Homeland Security, in the Secretary’s discretion, may remove the conditional basis of the permanent resident status for an alien who fails to meet the requirements of paragraph (1) if the alien demonstrates that--
(A) extreme hardship would result if such alien is removed;
(B) the qualifying marriage was entered into in good faith by the alien spouse, but the qualifying marriage has been terminated (other than through the death of the spouse) and the alien was not at fault in failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1); or
(C) the qualifying marriage was entered into in good faith by the alien spouse and during the marriage the alien spouse or child was battered by or was the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by his or her spouse or citizen or permanent resident parent and the alien was not at fault in failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1); or
(D) the alien meets the requirements under section 1154(a)(1)(A)(iii)(II)(aa)(BB) of this title and following the marriage ceremony was battered by or subject to extreme cruelty perpetrated by the alien's intended spouse and was not at fault in failing to meet the requirements of paragraph (1).
In determining extreme hardship, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consider circumstances occurring only during the period that the alien was admitted for permanent residence on a conditional basis. In acting on applications under this paragraph, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall consider any credible evidence relevant to the application. The determination of what evidence is credible and the weight to be given that evidence shall be within the sole discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall, by regulation, establish measures to protect the confidentiality of information concerning any abused alien spouse or child, including information regarding the whereabouts of such spouse or child.
(d) Details of petition and interview
(1) Contents of petition
Each petition under subsection (c)(1)(A) shall contain the following facts and information:
(A) Statement of proper marriage and petitioning process
The facts are that--
(i) the qualifying marriage--
(I) was entered into in accordance with the laws of the place where the marriage took place,
(II) has not been judicially annulled or terminated, other than through the death of a spouse, and